FDA warns against needleless flu shots

Those looking to get the flu shot without the prick of a needle are out of luck. After receiving questions about the vaccination method, the FDA says it's never approved a flu vaccine administered with jet injectors rather than traditional syringes.

The warning comes in the wake of advertisements from Kroger, Giant Eagle, Rite Aid and other major retailers that promised needleless flu shots this season. The FDA's order prompted the retailers to stop offering the needle-free injection method.

Two jet injector companies--PharmaJet and Bioject Medical Technologies--took issue with the FDA's warning, claiming their devices had been cleared by the agency for the administration of any vaccine. But FDA spokesperson Shelly Burgess told Medscape Today the companies still need to secure approval for their specific delivery method of the flu vaccine.

"Jet injectors represent a different method of delivery that has the potential to change the characteristics of an approved vaccine," the FDA stated in its announcement, as reported by Medscape. "Therefore, each vaccine preparation must be individually evaluated for administration by jet injector, and safety and effectiveness data for that vaccine must be submitted to the CBER for review and approval."

- here's The Wall Street Journal report
- get more from Medscape Today
- read the story from Pittsburgh Tribune-Review