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What is LAIV?

Updated on October 6, 2009

Influenza is a contagious disease. We all catch it. It is spread by coughing, sneezing, nasal secretions that are spread via airborne to those within close proximity and by the hand. Using your hand to stop a sneeze is fine but then when you touch something, germs spread by moving to a new location. When another person touches or handles the same thing, the germ passes on.

Fever, sore throar, chills, high temps of more than 102F for several days, cough, diarrhea, muscele aches are all symptoms, usually a person only has some of them.

LAIV and H1N1 Swine Flu

For those under 49 yrs, you may qualify to get the flu nasal spray or LAIV (live, attenuated influenza vaccine). This new spray is administered by a nurse and simply sprayed into your nose like nose drops. It contains a live flu virus to get your body defenses acclimated to the flu, those over 50, cannot get it and must get an injection. The injection type contains an inactivated flu vaccine which is like updating your computer virus program so your body knows what to look for. This is a weakened flu virus and does not cause the flu, but may create mild symptoms, such as, runny nose, nasal congestion, fever, muscele aches, fatigue.

The LAIV is simply a new way to administer the vaccine. The same guidelines are used for the H1N1 Swine flu. You will need a vaccination for the general flu AND one for the H1N1 Swine flu. Getting just the "standard" flu vaccine will not protect you from H1N1 Swine flu.

Once either is given, for the next two weeks your body will build its defenses. Once completed, you are protected for one year.

Who Should Get LAIV?

Between ages 2 and 49, not pregnant, care givers of children up to five years of age and those over 65 yrs. Any health care professionals, those who live in dormitories or jail, or crowded living conditions.

Who Should Not Get LAIV?

Besides the age, children younger than 5 yrs with asthma or those who have had wheezing within a year's time, people with long term health issues ( heart disease, lung disease, asthma, kidney\liver disease, anemia), anyone with muscle or nerve disorders, AIDs, those with long term aspirin treatment, pregnanacy, HIV, serious nasal conditions to where breathing is difficult, those with serious allergic reactions to eggs, if you are currently sick.


Get vaccinated now through December. Children younger than nine who are getting protected for the first time or those who received only one does last year will require two doses, four weeks apart.

Severe Reactions

These are: high fever for days or behavior changes, bad allergic reactions such as breathing difficulties, hoarseness, wheezing, hives, paleness, weakness, rapid heart beat, dizziness.

Need info:

Call the Center for Disease @ 1-800-232-4636


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