What Parents Need to Know About the 2016-2017 Flu Vaccine
Influenza, also known as the flu, can happen year round but more commonly occurs in the fall, with it peaking in the winter months. While most people are familiar with the fever, aches and pains that accompany a flu diagnosis, some fail to realize how dangerous the flu can be for children.
Anyone can get the flu, however, it most commonly occurs in children, affecting 20-30% each year. The flu can be dangerous because of several reasons. Severe influenza complications are most common in children younger than 2 years of age. In addition, children with chronic health conditions such as asthma and diabetes are at a greater risk of developing severe complications.
Each year scientists determine what strains of the flu will be most common during the upcoming season and create a vaccine formulation that will help protect against these strains. The flu vaccine includes three or four strains of influenza. Traditional flu vaccines protect against three viruses. These include H1N1, H3N2, and influenza B. The vaccines that include protection against four viruses contain an additional B virus.
2016-2017 Flu Vaccine Information:
Children aged six months through eight years of age may require a second dose of the flu vaccine. This should happen in children who have only previously received one dose of the flu vaccine or if they are getting vaccinated for the first time. The second dose should be administered at least 28 days after the first dose was given.
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommends against the nasal spray flu vaccine this season.
“Everyone aged 6 months and over should receive a flu vaccine,” said Taner Esensoy, MD of Rainbow Pediatrics. “The only reason you shouldn’t receive the vaccine is if you have a health condition that prevents it,” Dr. Esensoy added.
The CDC recommends that children receive their flu vaccine in October to allow time for the vaccine to build up in the body. However, November is a perfectly ideal time to receive the vaccine. The vaccine lasts at least four to six months, which is why it is important to not receive the flu vaccine too early.
Rainbow Pediatrics is currently scheduling for flu vaccines. In addition, we are hosting a flu vaccine clinic for established patients on November 11, 2016 from 1pm to 3:30pm. Space is limited. To reserve your appointment, please call 910.486.5437 today.
Remember, hindsight is always 20/20. Don’t wait until you or your child is stuck in bed with the flu to wish you didn’t put it off. Schedule your flu vaccine appointment today.