Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started
My Medicine

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Children's Vaccines Health Center

Font Size

The Nasal Flu Spray: Get the Facts

Be honest: Are you skipping your annual flu shot because you hate needles? That’s understandable. But don’t let it stop you from getting vaccinated. There’s another option: the nasal spray vaccine.  

What’s the Flu?

It’s an illness that’s caused by a virus. It attacks your lungs and the other organs that help you breathe. It can cause fever, chills, body aches, cough, runny nose, congestion, fatigue, and sore throat. You might have all of these symptoms or just a few.

Who Should Get Vaccinated?

Almost everyone 6 months of age and older, according to the CDC. It can help keep you from getting sick and spreading it to others. If you do get the flu, your symptoms likely won’t be as bad.

What’s the Nasal Flu Spray?

It’s made from weakened flu viruses. Your doctor sprays[mmr1]  it into your nose. It protects you from the flu viruses that could make you sick during the upcoming flu season.

Does It Work Better Than the Flu Shot?

Studies show that both the flu shot and nasal spray work. For adults, doctors found that the nasal spray works just as well as the flu shot. In 2009, they found that the nasal spray worked better in children. But later studies didn’t show that it was any more effective than the shot. Whether you get the shot or spray is up to you.

Who Can Get It?

Most people ages 2 through 49 who are healthy and not pregnant.

Who Should NOT Get It?

  • Children under 2 
  • Adults 50 and over
  • Anyone with a history of severe allergic reactions to the vaccine or a previous flu vaccine
  • Anyone allergic to eggs
  • Children and teens who get aspirin therapy
  • Children between ages 2 and 4 who have asthma or have had a history of wheezing in the past year
  • Pregnant women
  • Anyone with a weakened immune system
  • Anyone who has taken influenza antiviral drugs in the last 48 hours
  • Anyone who cares for someone with a weakened immune system

Today on WebMD

Baby getting vaccinated
Is there a link? Get the facts.
syringes and graph illustration
Get a customized vaccine schedule.
baby getting a vaccine
Know the benefits and the risk
nurse holding syringe in front of girl
Should your child have it?

What To Know About The HPV Vaccine
24 Kid Illnesses Parents Should Know
Nausea and Vomiting Remedies Slideshow
Managing Immunization Schedules For Kids

Doctor administering vaccine to toddler
gloved hand holding syringe
infant receiving injection

WebMD Special Sections