If you want to protect yourself and your family from the flu this year, you'll have to get the flu shot instead of the nasal spray, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Health officials are not recommending the nasal spray given a lack of effectiveness of the last three years. Doctor's at Rady Children's Hospital said Tuesday that, while most children would rather get the spray over the injection, it's simply not the best line of defense against the flu.
The CDC said it remains unclear why the nasal vaccine has continuously underperformed. Last year, roughly 20 million people received the nasal spray, about one-third of those being children, officials said.
Officials also say some patients will be able to get the flu shot using a needle that is 90 percent smaller and thinner than the typical needle.
The flu shot is recommended for anyone 6 months and older, but is especially important for infants and adults over the age of 65.
Rady Children's Hospital is offering free flu shots to its patients. On Tuesday, 12-year-old Piper got her flu shot and put to rest any worries other children may have about getting the injection.
"The shot I just did, did not hurt at all. Seriously, I was really expecting my arm to be sore all day, for it to be really painful. I was afraid I was going to cry in here -- but it was actually way less than I thought," said Piper. "Definitely worth it because I don't want to get the flu."