All of the pediatricians here agree that the flu shot is very important and worth getting. Influenza can be a severe infection, especially in young children, those with asthma or other medical conditions. It is not just a cold – it is much worse, and can lead to hospitalization and severe complications. Each year, children in the United States and abroad die from influenza infections, so even if the shot is not always effective, it is worth attempting to decrease the risk of this potentially dangerous disease.
The flu shot is safe and can’t cause the flu. It is completely inactive, and can’t make someone sick. It can cause fever or localized muscle pain that night, but it has nothing to do with colds or getting sick weeks or months later. It is specifically trying to prevent the influenza strains, but can’t lead to more or less “colds” from other cold viruses. It is not 100% effective, but helps to prevent or lessen the effect of the flu in most cases.
The nasal flu spray is not an option this year, unfortunately, as studies showed it was not be effective for the current circulating strains. We won’t have any at all this year.
Flu shot is safe and effective starting at 6 months old.
We recommend that all adults caring for a baby (family, nannies etc) get their flu vaccines.
We give flu shots from September until May, but the earlier in the season, the better.
If your check-up/physical exam is up to date, you can just call to schedule a shot-only visit with us.
The first time you get a flu shot, you need a booster a month later, but then every future season, you only need one. You need a new flu shot each winter!
Getting any shot or giving any medicine is not an easy decision. But after seeing the effects of influenza on young children for over 21 years, I have learned to respect and fear the flu! My daughters get it each year, and I think yours should as well!