10 things parents should know about flu shots

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We began giving flu pictures at our follow final week, and it made me not simply blissful, however relieved. I understand how dangerous influenza may be and I at all times really feel higher after we can begin stopping it.

Yearly, influenza sickens tens of millions, hospitalizes lots of of hundreds, and kills tens of hundreds. This isn’t your common widespread chilly. Whereas it’s particularly harmful for anybody who already has a well being drawback (corresponding to a weakened immune system, or coronary heart or lung issues), it may be harmful for wholesome individuals, too.

Even for those who don’t get that sick from the flu, other than lacking college or work there’s the very actual drawback that influenza could be very contagious — and you’ll be contagious earlier than you notice that you’ve the flu. Which means you’ll be able to unfold it to others, a few of whom could get very sick. Getting immunized helps maintain everybody secure: it’s not nearly you, it’s about everybody round you. That is very true for kids, who aren’t at all times nice about washing their fingers and have a tendency to the touch numerous issues and folks round them.

Right here are some things all mother and father ought to know concerning the flu vaccine:

  1.  It’s one of the best ways to stop the flu. Hand washing is essential, and staying away from sick individuals helps, however we are able to’t wash our fingers each second, and we are able to’t at all times know who’s sick. It’s true that the vaccine isn’t 100% efficient (the effectiveness varies by 12 months) but it surely’s your finest guess for those who don’t need to get sick.
  2.  You and your youngsters ought to get it early. The flu season runs from roughly September to March. The earlier you get it, the earlier you’re protected. It’s finest to get it performed earlier than the top of October. That is very true in case your youngster is younger and hasn’t had it earlier than, as a result of…
  3.  Youngsters who’re lower than 9 years previous and getting it for the primary time want two doses, a month aside. So getting began early is much more vital for them. In case your youngster is youthful than 9 and solely obtained one dose final season, they may want two doses this season.
  4.  Folks with egg allergy can get the flu shot. If the allergy is extreme you must discuss to your physician, as in these circumstances it’s advisable that individuals be monitored and have medicines to deal with an allergic response on the prepared, but it surely’s unlikely that that something will occur.
  5.  There are only a few individuals who shouldn’t get a flu shot. Youngsters lower than six months previous or who had a particular allergic response to the flu shot are the one ones who can’t. These with a historical past of Guillain-Barre Syndrome ought to discuss to their physician, however that’s uncommon. If a toddler is considerably in poor health we are going to typically postpone the shot, however youngsters with a minor sickness like a chilly can get it.
  6.  There are some individuals who actually need a flu shot. That features infants, who’re at greater danger of issues, in addition to youngsters with bronchial asthma, different lung ailments, coronary heart issues, weakened immune programs, or different persistent diseases. It’s best to name your physician instantly about getting vaccinated in case your youngster falls into one in every of these teams.
  7.  There’s no extra nasal spray model. Sorry. It didn’t work very effectively. Which means a needle for everybody. However there are many methods to ease the ache of the needle, so discuss to your physician.
  8.  You don’t want to fret about thimerosal. Thimerosal is a preservative that has been used to stop contamination in vaccines. Some individuals have apprehensive that it might be linked to autism, but it surely has been studied rigorously and there’s no precise proof that that is true. There is no such thing as a thimerosal within the vaccines we routinely give to youngsters. There are some formulations of the flu vaccine that comprise a tiny quantity of thimerosal, however there are additionally preservative-free formulations out there. Both approach, your youngster is secure. Discuss to your physician when you’ve got questions on this.
  9.  You possibly can’t catch the flu from the flu vaccine. The virus within the vaccine is inactivated. As with all vaccine, there may be unwanted effects; the most typical ones are ache on the injection web site or fever. However it can’t provide the flu.
  10.  In lots of states, older youngsters can get the flu shot at their native pharmacy. We pediatricians such as you to get pictures at our workplace, in order that we have now a file of it and might reply any questions. However we principally need your youngster to be vaccinated, and we perceive that attending to the workplace isn’t at all times straightforward. Examine along with your native public well being division to see what your choices are. In case your youngster does get the flu shot at a pharmacy or flu clinic, please convey documentation to your physician in order that they will put it of their medical file.

When you have any questions concerning the flu or the flu shot, try flu.gov.

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No content material on this web site, no matter date, ought to ever be used as an alternative to direct medical recommendation out of your physician or different certified clinician.

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