Vaccine - Flu - Child

This vaccine decreases your child's risk of catching the flu, also known as influenza.




This vaccine decreases your child's risk of catching the flu, also known as influenza.



Influenza, commonly known as the flu, is an upper respiratory infection. It is caused by one of the influenza viruses. Some children are at an increased risk of serious complications if they catch the flu. This can include those who are:

  • Very young
  • Chronically ill
  • Have weak immune systems

Serious complications can occur even in children who are healthy. New flu vaccines are made each year to protect against the influenza viruses that are current at that time.

The flu vaccine can be given as a shot or nasal spray. The nasal spray should not be given to children who:

  • Are ages 2 and younger
  • Are ages 2 through 4 with asthma
  • Have a weakened immune system
  • Take long-term aspirin therapy

In addition, the vaccine should not be given to children who have taken an influenza antiviral medication within the last 24 hours.

Important note: Getting a flu vaccine every year is the best way to protect your child from getting the flu. It's also the best way to stop you from spreading the flu to those you love.

Each year's updated version of the influenza vaccine typically becomes available during the late summer. However, immunizations given as late as March can still protect your child from catching the flu late in the season.

Most people only need one dose of the flu vaccine each year. If your child is ages 9 or younger, check with your health care provider to see if two doses are needed. The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that people ages 6 months and older receive a flu vaccine UNLESS there are specific medical reasons for not receiving it. These include:

  • A severe allergic reaction to a previous flu vaccine
  • A severe egg allergy; however, if your child has a mild egg allergy, he or she may still be able to receive the flu vaccine, so ask your health care provider for details.
  • Guillain-Barre syndrome, a disease of the nervous system

You may want to wait to get the vaccine if your child has a moderate to severe illness, not just a cold. However, if your child has a stuffy nose, he or she may need the flu shot instead of the nasal spray.

You may want to wait to get the vaccine if your child has a moderate to severe illness, not just a cold. However, if your child has a stuffy nose, he or she may need the flu shot instead of the nasal spray.

Some children are at an increased risk for complications if they get the flu. Therefore, it is even more important that they receive the flu vaccine. Those at increased risk include children who:

  • Are ages 6 months to 5 years
  • Have chronic diseases, such as diabetes or lung, heart, kidney, blood or neurological disease.
  • Have a weakened immune system due to illness or medication (such as steroids)
  • Are taking long-term aspirin therapy
  • Live in chronic care facilities
  • Are American Indians/Alaska Natives

In addition, household contacts and caregivers of children ages 5 and younger who are at increased risk for complications should also be vaccinated against the flu. It's important to remember that each year people die from flu complications, even though they had no known risk factors.

You should contact your health care provider if it's flu season and your child has not received their yearly flu vaccine. Here is a list of questions you can ask during your appointment.

  • Which vaccine do you recommend for my child, and why?
  • Does my child need one or two doses of the flu vaccine?
  • What are the side effects of this vaccine?
  • What are the risks if my child doesn't get the vaccine?

Source UHC.com

Also known as:

Vaccine Influenza
Vaccine Flu
Vaccine - Flu - Child
Vaccine
Seasonal Flu Shot
Influenza Vaccine
Influenza Shot
Immunization Influenza
Immunization Flu
Flu Vaccine
Flu Shot


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