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FluMist is OK'd for very young

Most kids can't stand getting mandatory vaccine shots, making it tough for parents to subject them to voluntary ones. But a move by the Food and Drug Administration yesterday means needles are no longer required - at least when it comes to preventing the flu.

The regulatory agency approved a new version of the nasal spray vaccine FluMist for use in children age 2 to 5. The development potentially boosts Gaithersburg manufacturer MedImmune Inc.'s patient base, and bottom line, by millions.

The old FluMist was approved in 2003 for use only in healthy people ages 5 to 49, though the company had sought approval for ages 1 through 64. Analysts blamed the midrange age restriction in...