10/02/2012 02:10 EDT | Updated 12/02/2012 05:12 EST

Crying over needles? Fall flu shot available for kids in nasal spray

EDMONTON - Alberta health officials say for the first time children will be able to get a seasonal flu vaccine through nasal spray instead of needles.

Children between two and 17 are eligible for FluMist, but those with respiratory problems such as asthma are advised to get the shot instead.

Alberta's Chief Medical Officer of Health, Dr. James Talbot, says studies show the spray is more effective for children.

But he says it's still best for adults to get injections.

The free vaccine will be available through public immunization clinics, some pharmacies and doctors' offices starting Oct. 15.

Talbot encourages everyone to get the vaccine but says it's most important for children six to 23 months, pregnant women, seniors and those with chronic medical conditions.

A government spokeswoman says Quebec is the only other province offering the nasal vaccine as part of its free flu campaign.