What is influenza?
Flu or Influenza, is an illness caused by influenza viruses. These viruses infect the nose, upper respiratory tract, throat, and lungs.
The flu is easily spread and can cause serious illness, especially for young children, the elderly, pregnant women, and people with certain chronic conditions such as asthma and diabetes.
The annual flu vaccine is the best way to protect your children against this disease and its potentially serious complications.
Why should my child get the flu vaccine?
In children, it reduces the risk of contracting this disease and being hospitalized for its cause.
It has been shown to save lives in the case of children.
Vaccine can reduce the illness severity in vaccinated people but still get the flu.
It reduces the risk of illness, which can prevent your child from missing school or childcare, and you from missing work.
It reduces the high risk of serious complications from influenza, especially for children under 5 years of age, or children of any age with certain chronic conditions.
Help preventing the spread of flu to your friends, family and also infants younger than six months who are very young to get the vaccine.
When should I get my child vaccinated against the flu?
Doctors recommend that you get your child vaccinated against the flu every year in the fall, starting at 6 months of age. Some children 6 months to 8 years old may need 2 doses to get the best protection.
CDC recommends getting a flu vaccine no later than the end of October, before the flu begins to spread in your community.
Getting vaccinated in future, however, can still be advantageous, and vaccination should be given end-to-end of the flu season, along in January or later.
Children 6 months to 8 years of age who are getting the flu vaccine for the first time, or who have previously received a single dose of this vaccine, should receive two doses. The first dose must be given just after the vaccine is available.
If your child previously received two doses of the flu vaccine (at any time), they only need one dose this season.
CDC recommends annual influenza (flu) vaccination for all people 6 months of age and older. Pregnant women should get a flu shot during each pregnancy. Flu vaccines given in pregnancy months help protect both baby and mother from flu.
What vaccines protect against influenza?
For the 2020-2021 flu season, CDC recommends annual flu vaccination for all people 6 months of age and older.
Children can get injectable flu vaccines starting at 6 months of age.
The nasal spray vaccine can be given to people 2 to 49 years of age. However, certain people with underlying conditions should not receive the nasal spray vaccine .
Your pediatric doctor will prescribe vaccines which are right for your child.
Should I get vaccinated if I am pregnant?
Yes. Changes in how your immune system, heart, and lungs work during pregnancy increase the chances that you will get very sick if you get the flu.
CDC recommends that pregnant women get an injectable seasonal flu vaccine annually by the end of October, if possible, to ensure the best protection against this disease.
You can get vaccinated during any trimester of pregnancy.
Getting vaccinated can also help protect your baby from the flu after birth . (The mother passes the antibodies to the unborn baby during pregnancy.)
Flu vaccines are very safe
Safety record of flu vaccine is good, thousands of americans have recieved vaccine in last fifty years and research has been done, vaccine can cause mild side effects which will go after few days.
Flu vaccines have a good safety record. Hundreds of millions of people in the United States have been safely vaccinated against influenza for over 50 years, and extensive research has been done to support the safety of influenza vaccines .
Like any medicine, vaccines can cause side effects. When they do occur, the side effects of the flu vaccine are generally mild and go away on their own within a few days .
What are the side effects?
Common side effects of the injectable flu vaccine can include:
- Pain, swelling or redness, at site of injection shot.
- Muscle pains
Side effects of nasal spray flu vaccine are as follows;
- Runny nose
- Muscle pains
- Muscle pains
If these problems do occur, they usually start shortly after vaccination, are mild, and are short-lived.
Why does child need a flu shot every year?
Flu viruses are constantly changing, so new vaccines are made every year to protect against flu viruses that are likely to cause the most illness. Also, the protection that flu vaccination provides wears off over time .
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Your child’s influenza (flu) vaccine will protect him from this illness all season, but he will need to get vaccinated again the next for the best protection.
What are the symptoms of the flu?
Flu symptoms can include:
- Fever ( not everyone with the flu will have a fever ) or feeling feverish or chills
- Shaking chills
- Throat pain
- Runny or stuffy nose
- Pain in the body or muscles
- Diarrhea or Vomiting (more common in children)
Most people who get sick from the flu recover in a few days or less than two weeks.
Is influenza a serious illness?
Lakhs of children comes in contact with the flu each year and thousands of them are hospitalized.
The CDC estimates that since 2010, between 7,000 and 28,000 children under the age of 5 in the United States have been hospitalized each year from influenza.
Children with chronic conditions such as asthma, diabetes, and brain or nervous system disorders, and children under the age of 5 (and especially those under the age of 2) are more likely to end up in the hospital because of the flu .
Some people at high risk can develop complications (such as pneumonia) that can lead to hospitalization and even death. (More info about Influenza)
Flu seasons vary in severity from season to season. Since 2010, the CDC estimates that each year between 130 and 1,200 children (under the age of 18) have died from the flu.
How is the flu spread?
Influenza is spread mainly by droplets that are produced when someone with the disease speaks, coughs, or sneezes, and these droplets reach or are inhaled by the mouths or noses of people who are nearby.
Mostly it does not happen most often, an individual could get infected with flu by touching an object or surface with the virus present on these things and then touching your nose, mouth, or possibly eyes could infect you.
People can spread the flu to others from one day before they have symptoms to 5 to 7 days after they get sick. This period may be longer in children and in very sick people.
Can my child get the flu from getting the flu vaccine?
No, the vaccine does not cause influenza. Influenza vaccines (given by injection) are currently made in two ways: The vaccine is made with
influenza viruses that have been “inactivated” (killed) and thus not infectious, or
using only a single influenza virus gene (rather than using the entire virus) to produce an immune response without causing infection.
The flu vaccine protects your child from this disease. However, sometimes the vaccine can cause mild side effects that can be mistaken for the flu.
Keep in mind that it will take about 2 weeks after getting the vaccine for your child’s body to build up protection against the flu.