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Health Information For Parents
Flu season runs from October to May, with most cases happening from late December to early March. Getting vaccinated before the flu season is in full force (ideally by the end of October) gives the body a chance to make antibodies that protect from the virus.
Even though it’s best to get vaccinated as soon as the flu vaccine is available, getting the vaccine later still can be helpful. Even as late as January, there are still a few months left in the flu season, so it’s still a good idea to get protected.
The flu vaccine is recommended for everyone age 6 months and older. It’s especially important for people who are at greater risk of having health problems from the flu to get vaccinated. They include:
Kids under 9 years old need two doses of flu vaccine if they’ve had fewer than two doses before July 2019. This includes kids who are getting the flu vaccine for the first time. Those under 9 who have received at least two doses of flu vaccine previously (in the same or different seasons) will only need one dose. Kids older than 9 only need one dose of the vaccine.
It can take up to 2 weeks for the flu vaccine to become effective, so it’s best to get vaccinated as soon as possible.
Two types of flu vaccine are available for the 2019–2020 flu season. Both protect against four types of influenza virus:
In the past, the nasal spray vaccine wasn’t recommended for kids because it didn’t seem to work well enough. The newer version appears to work as well as the shot. So either vaccine can be given this year, depending on the child’s age and general health.
The nasal spray is only for healthy people ages 2–49. People with weak immune systems or some health conditions (such as asthma) and pregnant women should not get the nasal spray vaccine.
Certain things might prevent a person from getting the vaccine. Talk to your doctor to see if the vaccine is still recommended if your child:
In the past, people with an egg allergy had to check with their doctor about whether the flu vaccine was OK for them because it’s grown inside eggs. But health experts now say that the amount of egg protein in the vaccine is so tiny that it’s safe even for kids with a severe egg allergy. This is especially important during a severe flu season.
Still, a child with an egg allergy should get the flu vaccine in a doctor’s office, not at a supermarket, drugstore, or other venue.
If your child is sick and has a fever, or is wheezing, talk to your doctor about whether to reschedule the vaccine.
Most people do not have any side effects from the flu vaccine. Some have soreness or swelling at the site of the shot or mild side effects, such as headache or a low fever.
The flu vaccine is available at:
Telltale signs of the flu include a sore throat, body aches and fever. Here’s what to do if your child has the flu.
Get the basics on how flu spreads and how to protect yourself.
The flu can make you sick for a week or more. Find out how to get protected from the influenza virus.
Learn all about protecting your family from the flu and what to do if your child gets flu-like symptoms.
Get tips for fending off the flu in this article for teens.
If you’re afraid of shots, you’re not alone. Next time your doc asks you to roll up your sleeve, try these tips.
The flu is a virus that can make you sick for a week or longer. Find out more in this article for kids.
Just about everybody needs a flu shot. Find out more in this article for kids.
Find out when and why kids need to get the flu vaccine.
Here are some quick tips for helping your child get over the flu.
The flu usually makes kids feel worse than if they have a cold. But it’s not always easy to tell the difference. Here are tips on what to look for â and what to do.
The flu vaccine is a good idea for all families. It does not cause the flu, and it helps keep kids and parents from getting sick.
Doctors recommend that all teens get vaccinated against the flu. The good news is, it doesn’t have to be a shot. Here are the facts on flu vaccines.
Flu symptoms tend to come on quickly and are worse than the sneezing and stuffiness of a cold. The flu is very contagious. Find out what to do in this article for parents.
Note: All information is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor.
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