Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Same Gain, Less Pain

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This article can be found in the Toronto Star: Entertainment and Living: Section E: Monday August 30, 2010  or

My reason for writing this article, is because I HATE NEEDLES! I hate them because I HAVE FAINTED BECAUSE OF ONE! That is my own opinion. Let's see what you think about this nasal sensation.


New flu vaccines promise less pain

August 30, 2010
Andrea Gordon


As flu season approaches, so does decision time for families about who should get vaccinated against the virus. And this year, Canadians have some new developments to consider.

First, the vaccine for 2010-2011 also protects against H1N1 virus, unlike last year when separate shots were required.

And for those who shudder at the sight of a syringe, there are two new forms that don’t involve being jabbed in the muscle: one is a nasal spray; the other is an intradermal vaccine that uses a tiny needle that is inserted beneath the skin rather than into muscle.

“We’re very excited to have new ways to administer vaccines other than (the standard) injections, says Dr. Bonnie Henry, chair of the Canadian Coalition for Immunization Awareness and Promotion and epidemiologist at the British Columbia Centre for Disease Control.

Public health physicians hope that the combined shot as well as newer forms of vaccines down the road may mean more Canadians choose to be immunized.

Last year, 42 per cent of Ontarians got a flu shot, while 28 per cent were vaccinated against H1N1. The vaccies are free.

On Friday, Canada’s National Advisory Committee on Immunization released its annual statement on the flu vaccine.

In line with recommendations from the World Health Organization, the Canadian seasonal vaccine will incorporate three strains: the 2009 strain known as H1N1; a new influenza A (H3N2); and the same B component as last year.

But unlike the U.S., where health authorities last week urged everyone over the age of 6 months to receive the vaccine, the Canadian committee put the focus on high-risk groups such as very young children, seniors, people with other health conditions and health care workers.

“However, influenza vaccine is encouraged for all Canadians who have no contraindication,” said the statement from the committee, which advises Health Canada on immunization issues.

Unlike the traditional vaccine, families in Ontario will have to pay to receive the flu shot if they wish to receive it through one of the two new methods. Prices have not been released, but both FluMist and Intanza are expected to cost more than the regular flu vaccines, which are available from Canada’s two bulk suppliers for roughly $10 per injection.

Health Canada recently approved the nasal spray FluMist, Canada’s first non-injectible vaccine, which is available for people ages 2 through 59.

The spray is applied to each nostril, where the virus usually enters the body, and unlike regular injections does not contain the preservative thimerosol, which has caused controversy among some groups because of potential low-level toxicity.

FluMist has been available in the U.S. since 2003, with 27 million doses distributed to date.

Intanza, also newly approved, uses a needle 10 times smaller than regular to inject the vaccine beneath the skin surface.

The intradermal vaccine, available to adults ages 18 to 59.

Both FluMist and Intanza are expected to cost more than the regular flu vaccines, which are available from Canada’s two bulk suppliers for roughly $10 per injection.

What do you think? For your flu shot this year are you going to fight through the regular needle? Or are you choosing the nasal spray route? What about FluMist or Intanza?
Whatever your decision, remember: Its all the Same gain.... but some may have less pain.

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