RadioMD: Healthy Children

The Current Flu Vaccine: What You Should Know

February 14, 201716 min
Do you really need to get the flu vaccine for your family this season?Getting an annual flu vaccine is the first and best way to protect yourself and your family against the flu. The flu vaccine for 2016 is recommended for every child over six months of age. It’s considered an essential vaccine. If this is your child’s first flu vaccine you have to get it administered in two doses. The flu vaccine contains three or four dead viruses. Side effects from the vaccine include a sore arm at the vaccination site, redness or a low-grade fever. The vaccine teaches the immune system how the body needs to deal with the flu.  The recipe changes each year based on global surveillance. The formula is based on what is anticipated to come to North America. The vaccine should last throughout the season. Flu season peaks in January and February but it begins to circulate in autumn. Babies generally do wonderfully with the flu vaccine. Over 75% of parents are getting flu vaccines for their children annually. The nasal flu spray is not recommended this year. It was not as effective in the past two to three seasons as it was on children over two years of age. The flu shot last year was over 60% effective. The flu can have severe effects including lung infections and death. This is why physicians advocate so strongly for vaccination. Those allergic to eggs needn’t worry about this year’s vaccine. Past production of vaccines has involved eggs in the production. There’s not the same contamination and reaction to the content of the vaccines. The flu vaccine is 50-60% effective. It’s great for those who are high risk like the elderly, pregnant mothers and children under age five. If you get the vaccine but still get the virus, you may have a milder case of flu. If you think you’ve been exposed to the flu go to the doctor right away. A nasal swab will determine your diagnosis. If you get sick then stay home. Listen in as Dr. Wendy Sue Swanson shares the current information on flu vaccines.

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