Clinical Tip: Nasal vaccine for flu without the "Eeyew!"

January 1, 2006

Once again this year, my staff and I have been very busy administering nasal influenza vaccine (FluMist). Our young patients used to complain that the nasal spray tasted horrible when it dripped down the throat. Then, one of the office staff had a great idea: She went out and bought a bag of lollipops. I have the patient suck on a lollipop while I give the vaccine. Not one child has complained of bad taste since we adopted this strategy. A lollipop also provides an effective distraction for the occasional youngster who is apprehensive about the squirt.

Once again this year, my staff and I have been very busy administering nasal influenza vaccine (FluMist). Our young patients used to complain that the nasal spray tasted horrible when it dripped down the throat. Then, one of the office staff had a great idea: She went out and bought a bag of lollipops. I have the patient suck on a lollipop while I give the vaccine. Not one child has complained of bad taste since we adopted this strategy. A lollipop also provides an effective distraction for the occasional youngster who is apprehensive about the squirt.

Burt E. Minaker, MDAttleboro Falls, Mass.