Now more than ever, you may be wondering if you should get your child a flu vaccine. This has become a controversial subject, and you understandably want to do what's best for your family. According to the CDC, a yearly influenza vaccine is recommended for all children over 6 months and older. This recommendation has come from years of research regarding the virus. New Beginnings Pediatrics shares a few reasons why the flu vaccine is a good decision for your child. 

Influenza is Dangerous for Children

Different from the common cold, the flu is more aggressive in children and can cause serious complications. In fact, children under 5 are at a higher risk of developing one or more of these flu-related complications. These can include pneumonia, dehydration, long-term heart disease, and more. In rare and extreme cases, death can occur. 

A Vaccination is the Very Best Protection

The flu vaccine is highly effective in preventing flu illness. It is the best way to stay safe. In fact, they are updated each season in order to protect against the specific viruses that are determined to be currently prevalent.  Ideally, you are recommended to get one every year by the end of October. 

The Flu Vaccine Doesn't Cause the Flu

This is a widely spread misconception. The vaccine is made with a strain of the flu virus, likely causing the misconception. However, it is inactive and therefore not infectious. It is basically a dead virus.With all of this being said, you may be wondering which vaccine is right for your child. Here are the basic facts:
  • Flu Shot — For children 6 months and older. It may cause soreness t the injection site
  • Nasal Spray — Healthy children 2 years and older. Side effects can include runny nose, cough, and sore throat
  • 2 Doses — If your child is under 9 years old and this is their first flu vaccine, plan for 2 doses at least 4 weeks apart
  • 1 Dose — If your child has had the flu vaccine 2 or more times since July 2019, or if they are older than 9. 
Deciding if a vaccine is right for your family can be a difficult decision, but one that is important for their overall health. Our New Beginnings Pediatrics team is happy to answer any questions you may have about the flu vaccine so that you can make the best, healthiest decision for your child.