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H1N1 Vaccine: Live, Attenuated Intranasal Spray (cont.)

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How is the nasal-spray flu vaccine stored?

The nasal-spray flu vaccine, including both the seasonal and 2009 H1N1 nasal spray vaccines, must be stored in a refrigerator at 2-8°C (35-46°F).

Can health care workers who cannot receive the nasal spray vaccine (e.g., pregnant women, older adults, persons with chronic medical conditions) administer this vaccine to others?

Yes. Health care workers who cannot get the nasal spray vaccine themselves can administer the vaccine to others.

What personal protective equipment is recommended for health care workers who are giving the 2009 H1N1 nasal spray vaccine?

Personal protective equipment (gloves and masks) are not needed when administering the nasal spray vaccine, including the 2009 H1N1 nasal spray vaccine.

Does the nasal spray flu vaccine contain thimerosal?

No, neither the seasonal nor the 2009 H1N1 nasal-spray flu vaccines contain thimerosal or any other preservative.

Can the nasal spray flu vaccine give you the flu?

Unlike the flu shot, the nasal spray flu vaccine does contain live viruses. However, the viruses are attenuated (weakened) and cannot cause flu illness. The weakened viruses are cold-adapted, which means they are designed to only cause infection at the cooler temperatures found within the nose. The viruses cannot infect the lungs or other areas where warmer temperatures exist. Some children and young adults 2 years to 17 years of age have reported experiencing mild reactions after receiving seasonal nasal spray flu vaccine, including runny nose, nasal congestion or cough, chills, tiredness/weakness, sore throat and headache. Some adults 18 years to 49 years of age have reported runny nose or nasal congestion, cough, chills, tiredness/weakness, sore throat and headache. These side effects are mild and short-lasting, especially when compared to symptoms of influenza infection.

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