It’s that time of year again…Flu vaccine season!
Fall is probably my favorite season. Leaves start turning beautiful colors. The weather gets cooler. However, it’s also time to think about when to get a flu vaccine.
Let’s recap the 2018-2019 flu season.
- Children hospitalized with influenza – 1,132
- 55% of those hospitalized had another medical condition (asthma or reactive airway disease, neurological disorders, or obesity)
- However, 45% had NO underlying medical condition!
- Laboratory-confirmed influenza-associated pediatric deaths – 116
- Of the pediatric deaths, 89 were eligible for the influenza vaccine. However, 70% were unvaccinated at the time of death.
Those are scary statistics! How can we best protect our children AND ourselves this flu season? By getting the flu vaccine! The American Academy of Pediatrics recently released an updated policy statement for the upcoming 2019-2020 flu season.
Here is a summary of their recommendations:
- ALL children ages 6 months and older should receive the flu vaccine if they are eligible.
- It doesn’t matter which flu vaccine they receive, either will be helpful!
- Shots – can be given as young as 6 months of age
- Nasal spray – must be 24 months of age or older to be considered
- Children who are 8 years old and younger who are getting the flu vaccine for the first time OR those who have only received 1 dose prior to July 1, 2019 should get two doses at least one month apart this season
- Kids should be vaccinated by the end of October
Remember, since the American Academy of Pediatrics does not recommend one vaccine product over the other, DO NOT DELAY vaccinating your child because the one you want is not available!
Picture of me and my boys last year after getting the flu vaccine!!
Dr Jamie Page, MD