Believe it or not, flu season is right around the corner. Getting the flu vaccine for your family is a good idea if you want to help protect them from catching the flu virus. The vaccine does not make you sick, and if you can avoid getting the flu this year – which can make you or your kids sick for up to a week – then it is well worth it.
Who Should Get The Flu Shot?
Any child over 6 months of age can receive the flu shot. While babies under 6 months are at high risk for getting the flu and having flu-related complications, they are too young to get the vaccine. If your family gets vaccinated, however, then you are minimizing the risk of the flu getting into your household and that helps protect your young baby.
According to the CDC, here is a list of people who should receive the flu shot:
- children 6 months through 4 years old
- adults 65 years and older
- women who are pregnant, who may become pregnant, who recently became mothers, or are breastfeeding during flu season
- anyone with a weakened immune system
- anyone with chronic medical conditions like asthma
- Kids or teens who regularly take aspirin and could develop Reye syndrome
- anyone who works with children
There are some people who should not get a flu vaccine:
- anyone who may a have a sever reaction to the vaccine
- anyone who has had Guillain-Barré syndrome
Flu Shot vs Flu Mist
There are a couple different types of the Flu shot which protect against different strains of the flu. These can be given to kids either through a shot or a nasal mist. The mist is recommended for younger children as it may work better for them, but both delivery methods are effective.
Children with egg allergies should have the shot given to them in a doctor’s office. While the amount of egg allergen in the shot is very minimal and unlikely to cause a reaction, it is safer to have it administered by a doctor in a setting where a possible reaction can be treated quickly.
If your child is sick or has a fever, it is best to wait until they are well before giving them the flu shot.
Flu season starts in October and actually runs all the way through May. You should get your shot as early as possible to build up your immunity. Also there can be flu shot shortages, so it’s best to get yours before your local providers run out.