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Do-It-Yourself Flu Vaccine - Study Shows It Works

10/9/2014

ABC News
By Marilynn Marchione, AP Chief Medical Writer

Do-it-yourself flu vaccine? It could happen. Military folks who squirted vaccine up their noses were as well-protected as others who got it from health workers, a study found.

There's no reason civilians couldn't do the same, especially for children who might be less scared if vaccine was given by mom or dad, the study leader said.

"A parent could easily administer it. You can't go wrong," and having a DIY option might improve vaccination rates, said Eugene Millar of the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences in Rockville, Maryland.

So far, only health professionals are allowed to give MedImmune's FluMist, the only flu vaccine sold as a nasal spray. The government says it's the preferred method for healthy kids ages 2 to 8 if it's available; it's approved for ages 2 through 49.

In an epidemic or rapid deployment, there might not be enough health workers to give vaccine quickly enough to protect troops in crowded barracks, so Millar's study tested DIY as a practical solution.

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