If you have not yet received your flu vaccine, now is the time to do so!
Influenza typically peaks in December through February, according to the CDC, so for the little ones, NOW is the time to receive their flu vaccine. This provides enough time for their immune system to begin developing an immune response. Influenza viruses typically cause the ‘flu’ and these symptoms can range from mild to severe symptoms including death. Many families often say that after receiving a flu vaccine, they ‘get the flu.’ This is a common misconception about the flu vaccine. Like many other vaccines, after the immunization, a child may be a little more tired, fussy or have a slight fever, but these symptoms should be very limited and should resolve within 24-48 hours of receiving the flu vaccine.
Also, parents should keep in mind that the influenza vaccine covers only those specific viruses that will likely cause illness this Winter season. There are hundreds of other viruses present during the cold and flu season that can have similar symptoms as the flu, but we typically do not vaccinate against these. For more information on this specific subject, please refer to the CDC website under ‘Overview of Influenza Surveillance in the United States.’ The immune system of a child is typically compromised and weak, as compared to that of an adult. Therefore, the chances of higher morbidities and complications from the ‘flu’ are very high. Even if your child is not in a daycare setting, keep in mind that the holidays are just around the corner and this means being in contact with more people in general.
According to the CDC, ‘people with the flu are most contagious in the first 3-4 days after their illness begins, some otherwise healthy adults may be able to infect others beginning 1 day before symptoms develop and after 5-7 days after becoming sick.’ If you are interested in reading more information about the flu, I would recommend visiting the CDC’s website on influenza.
So, let’s get prepared for this cold and flu season and bring your children in for their flu shot! The flu vaccine is available in the office and all you need to do is call the office to schedule a flu shot appointment with one of our Nurses.