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The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved MedImmune's FluMist, the first influenza vaccine intended to be sprayed into the nose instead of injected into the arm; it is expected to be available in time for this year's flu season. Doctors hope that the inhaled vaccine-which is approved for those between the ages of 5 and 49 years (a population that tends to avoid flu shots)-will increase the number of healthy people who are vaccinated and also free up the supply of the injected vaccine. The agency has not approved FluMist for those with respiratory diseases or asthma, and because it contains a diluted live virus, it could be risky for people with weakened immune systems. MedImmune is planning to conduct more tests to gain vaccine approval for the elderly and the very young.


Source:, July 3, 2003.