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Ouchless vaccine a spray, not a shot

chinadaily.com.cn|Updated: 2020-09-23

China's first domestically made live attenuated nasal spray flu vaccine was used for the first time in public on Sept 15 in Xi'an, Shaanxi province. It improves the efficiency and speed of influenza vaccination. And there's no needle.

Doctors say the spray is suitable for people 3 to 17 years old. It's sprayed into the nostrils, so it's painless.

Luo Dan, director of the children's health department at Xi'an Daxing Hospital, said traditional flu vaccines usually produce immune effects two to four weeks after vaccination, and they can protect for six to eight months.

"But the nasal spray flu vaccine can take effect with systemic mucosal immunity after three days of vaccination, and the protective effect lasts for a year," she said.

"The protection of the nasal spray flu vaccination is more comprehensive, and its effects are longer-lasting and overlapping."

Each shot of live attenuated nasal spray flu vaccine costs about 338 yuan ($50). People can get it at clinics at Xi'an, according to local health authorities.

Autumn is the season in which various kinds of respiratory infections spike. According to the World Health Organization, about 20 to 30 percent of children globally are infected with the flu every year.

The nasal spray vaccine can mitigate children's fears of injections and pain, so the new method is conducive to mass immunity in the future, Luo said.