Skip to main content

Shoot! Flu vaccine more likely a needle with nasal spray in short supply

  • Author:
  • Updated:

There's a prickly situation confronting Minnesotans getting their flu vaccinations.

The nasal spray that many patients prefer to needles is in short supply at clinics these days, meaning more flu shots are being administered the old fashioned way.

An official with Minnesota's Department of Health tells the Star Tribune the state has received only 42 percent of the FluMist it ordered from the company that makes it.

Some hospitals and clinics have run out of the spray entirely, the newspaper says, leading some parents to either search for clinics that still have it or wait to vaccinate their children next month, when supplies are expected to be replenished.

While the mist is approved by the Health Department for ages 2-49 (with the exception of pregnant mothers) it is especially popular with children looking to avoid a shot in the arm.

The shortage of FluMist is happening across the country. A spokeswoman for the company that makes it, Astra Zeneca, told the Washington Post there were "challenges with production" that affected the timing of deliveries.

Astra Zeneca said in September it planned to ship 15 million doses of FluMist this season. The Post reported last week that 6 million had been delivered. But the company says it will have more available for late-season delivery.

Flu season runs from October through May, but generally peaks in January and February.

The Health Department has a Vaccines for Children program that offers free vaccinations to children from low-income families.

In addition, the department is working with the Office of Emergency Preparedness on full-scale mass vaccination exercises in certain areas. KDUZ reports that in south central Minnesota Meeker-McLeod-Sibley Community Health Services will offer free immunizations to all children aged 5-18 from Nov. 30 through Dec. 11.

Next Up

driving unsplash - crop

Hastings man charged for driving drunk with 2-year-old in vehicle

Matthew Quade's BAC was almost five times over the legal limit when police pulled him over last week.

police lights

Arrest made after person shot at Hopkins apartment building

Police say this was an isolated incident and that the victim and suspect knew each other.


BA.2.12.1 omicron subvariant quickly becoming dominant in MN

Experts say the subvariant is more transmissible but there is not evidence to suggest it causes more severe disease.

Erin Maye Quade

DFLer who was in labor during endorsement convention to run in primary

Maye Quade gave a speech while in active labor before she ultimately withdrew from the endorsing convention last month to give birth.


Valleyfair opens this weekend, reveals full summer schedule of events

New fare includes walking tacos, hand-scooped ice cream and deep-fried pickles.

Gregory Ulrich

Jury selection begins in trial of Buffalo clinic shooter, Gregory Ulrich

The Buffalo health clinic shooter is accused of fatally shooting one person and injuring four others last year.


Minnesota's COVID-19 update for Monday, May 16

The latest from the state health department.


Tow truck workers struck by hit-and-run driver on I-35

The driver was in a black 2006 Lincoln MKZ.

Governor Tim Walz

Walz, DFL, GOP reach agreement on state surplus spending

The framework deal includes spending on education, health care, human services and public safety, as well as tax cuts.

Harriet Island flooding, St. Paul

St. Paul to close road in anticipation of Mississippi River flooding

River levels are expected to rise through the week.

Michael Davis

Former Mormon church leader convicted of sexually assaulting boy, 13

It emerged that the church leader was a registered sex offender.