Alternatives To The Pediatrician
Let’s say you miss the flu shot boat at your child’s doctor’s office and need to have your child vaccinated elsewhere. Some places to consider:
- Your local or state health department is often your best bet, so start looking there.
- The American Lung Association website has a user-friendly tool for finding local outlets for flu shots. Simply enter your zip code and nearby options will pop up. In addition, the tool will give you helpful information about each site, such as the days and times it’s open.
- Vaccinefinder.org works in much the same way as the ALA siteplug in your address or zip code and you’ll get a list of local places offering flu vaccines. You can use this tool to find locations for other vaccines as well, from chickenpox to shingles to HPV .
Note that many places that offer flu shots outside a doctor’s office may not give them to young children, especially kids under 4, so call ahead. This restriction may be waived if your pediatrician will write a prescription for your child to have a flu shot.
The Flu Shot Is Your Best Defence
This years flu season is taking place at the same time as COVID-19. Dont take any unnecessary risks with your health. Get the flu shot as early in the season as possible.
The flu shot is recommended for everyone 6 months old and older. It is:
- available from your doctor or nurse practitioner, and at participating pharmacies and local public health units across the province
- proven to reduce the number of doctor visits, hospitalizations and deaths related to the flu
- different each year because the virus changes frequently so you need to get it every fall
Which Flu Vaccinations Are Available For My Child
The following flu vaccines will be available in 2022:
- Afluria Quad: For children 3 years and older.
- Afluria Quad Junior: For children aged 635 months
- Fluquadri: For children 6 months and older .
The vaccines each contain the same ingredients. If your child is eligible for a free flu vaccine, they will be given the Alfuria Quad or Alfluria Quad Junior brand depending on their age.
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What Else Should I Know
Some things might prevent a person from getting the flu vaccine. Talk to your doctor to see if the vaccine is still recommended if your child:
- has ever had a severe allergic reaction to a flu vaccination
- has had Guillain-Barré syndrome
Egg Allergy and the Flu Vaccine
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.
Getting a Flu Vaccine During the COVID-19 Pandemic
The flu season seemed milder during the COVID-19 pandemic, as fewer people got infected or were hospitalized with the flu. This was probably tied to public health measures that protected against coronavirus, as they also protect against the flu. These included wearing masks in public, social distancing, and less travel. Increased flu vaccination rates also might have helped. If these precautions happen less, the rate of flu infections will go back up, so it’s still important to get a flu vaccine each year. People can get a flu vaccine at the same time they get the COVID-19 vaccine.
Why Is The Flu Vaccine Recommended
While the flu vaccine isn’t 100% effective, it still greatly lowers a person’s chances of catching the flu, which can be very serious. It also can make symptoms less severe if someone who got the vaccine does still get the flu.
If you got the flu vaccine last year, it can’t provide enough protection this year, because flu viruses change. That’s why the vaccine is updated each year to include the most current types of the virus.
Sometimes the same virus types are included in the vaccine from one year to the next. Even then, it’s still important to get the yearly flu vaccine because the body’s immunity against the influenza virus declines over time.
Getting the flu vaccine not only protects you from the flu. It also helps protect the people and community around you. The flu vaccine makes someone less likely to get the flu, and therefore less likely to spread the flu. Getting the flu vaccine is a great way to protect people who are at risk from flu, such as the elderly, babies, and people with health conditions such as asthma. Every year thousands of people die from influenza, and getting the flu vaccine is one way to help prevent that.
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Who Should Not Get The Nasal Flu Vaccine
- Children less than 2 years old .
- Those who are pregnant and people who have weakened immune systems. It is a live virus vaccine.
- People who have to take acetylsalicylic acid on a daily basis.
- People with severe asthma who have been treated with steroids or had severe wheezing in the past 7 days .
These people should get the injected vaccine.
When Should My Child Get A Flu Vaccine
Doctors recommend that your child get a flu vaccine every year in the fall, starting when he or she is 6 months old. Some children 6 months through 8 years of age may need 2 doses for best protection.
- CDC recommends a flu vaccine by the end of October, before flu begins spreading in your community. Getting vaccinated later, however, can still be beneficial and vaccination should continue to be offered throughout the flu season, even into January or later.
- Children 6 months through 8 years getting a flu vaccine for the first time, and those who have only previously gotten one dose of flu vaccine, should get two doses of vaccine. The first dose should be given as soon as vaccine becomes available.
- If your child previously got two doses of flu vaccine , he only needs one dose of flu vaccine this season.
CDC recommends a yearly flu vaccine for everyone ages six months and older. Pregnant women should get a flu vaccine during each pregnancy. Flu vaccines given during pregnancy help protect both the mother and her baby from flu.
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People At High Risk Of Complications From The Flu
- people with health conditions, such as:
- cancer and other immune compromising conditions
- kidney disease
- neurological or neurodevelopmental conditions
- children up to 18 years of age undergoing treatment for long periods with acetylsalicylic acid
How Many Doses Of The Flu Vaccine Does My Child Need
The number of doses will depend on your child’s age and whether they have had the flu vaccine previously.
- Children between 6 months and 9 years of age: for their first ever flu vaccination, they need 2 doses, 4 weeks apart. They only need 1 dose if they have had a flu vaccination before.
- Children 9 years of age or older only need 1 dose.
Children younger than 9 years need 2 doses initially because it is unlikely they have had the flu previously and may not have any natural infection fighting responses to the flu.
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Do Flu Shots For Babies And Toddlers Contain Mercury
Ask for a shot from a single-dose, mercury-free vial. Multi-dose vials contain a mercury-based preservative to kill bacteria introduced by repeated needle penetrations into the vial. With a single dose vial, mercury isnt necessary.
Pregnant women should also receive the flu shot . The shot does not contain live viruses, so its safe for the fetus inside.
It can be hard watching your little one get pricked by a needle. Once your child is over 2 years old, you can choose to give the vaccine as an injection or as a nasal spray.
Flu Vaccine And Covid
The nasal spray flu vaccine does not protect your child from COVID-19.
Children aged 12 years and older can get the COVID-19 vaccine at the same time as the flu vaccine.
As a precaution, children aged 5 to 11 years should wait at least 2 weeks between getting their COVID-19 vaccine and the flu vaccine.
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First Things Firstwhat Is The Flu
The flu is a viral infection that mostly affects the breathing passages and can even affect the brain and entire body. If youre suffering from the flu, youll have a fever , cough, sore throat, headache, muscle aches and extreme fatigue. No fun, right? Unlike the common cold, the flu can knock you out for one to two weeksand by weakening your immune system for many weekslong after the flu is over! It commonly leads to serious secondary infections, like sinusitis or pneumonia.
Type Of Vaccine For Children
Children will get a nasal spray vaccine. It’s called the Live Attenuated Influenza Vaccine nasal spray vaccine. It’s known by the brand name Fluenz Tetra and manufactured by AstraZeneca AB.
This flu vaccine is approved for children aged 2 to 17 years.
If your child has been told they cannot have the nasal flu vaccine, talk to your GP or pharmacist about them getting the vaccine as an injection.
If your child is under 2 years and at risk of complications from flu, they can get a different type of flu vaccine by injection instead of the nasal spray.
Most children only need 1 dose of the vaccine each season. Some children aged 2 to 8 years with chronic health conditions may need 2 doses if they have never had the flu vaccine before. Your GP or pharmacist will know if they need 2 doses. The doses are given 4 weeks apart.
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Flu Vaccines Are Very Safe
Flu vaccines have a good safety record. Hundreds of millions of Americans have safely received flu vaccines for more than 50 years, and there has been extensive research supporting the safety of flu vaccines.
Vaccines, like any medicine, can have side effects. When they occur, flu vaccine side effects are generally mild and go away on their own within a few days.
Final Thoughts On Flu Shots For Babies
Unfortunately, influenza is a pretty sneaky infection. You can still catch it even after getting the vaccine, but the illness will likely be less intense than if you didnt get the shot. And, by getting the shot, youll be helping protect your friends and neighborsespecially those struggling with serious illnessesby doing your part to build to your communitys herd immunity.
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Can My Child Have The Flu Vaccine If They Have An Allergy To Egg
Yes, the brands of the flu vaccine for the 2022 flu season can be given to people with egg allergy. Studies have shown that flu vaccines containing one microgram or less of ovalbumin do not trigger anaphylaxis in sensitive people. The residual ovalbumin in 1 dose of the flu vaccine for the 2022 is below this limit.Apart from people who have had a previous severe allergic reaction to a flu vaccination in the past, anyone can have a flu vaccination.
Which Children Need Flu Immunisation
All children from 6 months of age can benefit from flu immunisation. By immunising your child , especially if they go to preschool, creche or daycare, you can protect them and your family.
Flu immunisation is especially important for children with certain long-term health conditions. This is because these children are more likely to develop complications from the flu, such as chest infections. If your child does have a long-term condition, make sure they have their flu immunisation every year before the winter starts.
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Rapid Response To Pandemic Flu
The rapid development, production, and distribution of pandemic influenza vaccines could potentially save millions of lives during an influenza pandemic. Due to the short time frame between identification of a pandemic strain and need for vaccination, researchers are looking at novel technologies for vaccine production that could provide better “real-time” access and be produced more affordably, thereby increasing access for people living in low- and moderate-income countries, where an influenza pandemic may likely originate, such as live attenuated technology and recombinant technologies . As of July 2009, more than seventy known clinical trials have been completed or are ongoing for pandemic influenza vaccines. In September 2009, the FDA approved four vaccines against the 2009 H1N1 influenza virus , and expected the initial vaccine lots to be available within the following month.
In January 2020, the US Food and Drug Administration approved Audenz as a vaccine for the H5N1 flu virus. Audenz is a vaccine indicated for active immunization for the prevention of disease caused by the influenza A virus H5N1 subtype contained in the vaccine. Audenz is approved for use in persons six months of age and older at increased risk of exposure to the influenza A virus H5N1 subtype contained in the vaccine.
Is Flu Immunisation Free For My Child
Your family doctor or practice nurse can tell you whether or not flu immunisation is free for your child. You can also phone the Immunisation Advisory Centre on 0800 466 863. If you do have to pay, it’s around $30 but check the exact price with your family doctor or pharmacy.
From 1 July 2022, flu immunisation is free for all tamariki aged 3 to 12 years. It is also free for children over 6 months who have a range of health conditions.
Flu immunisation is likely to be free for children over 6 months if you answer ‘yes’ to any of these questions:
- does your child have asthma and regularly use a preventer medicine ?
- is your child aged 4 years or under and has a significant respiratory illness or been in hospital for a respiratory illness ?
- does your child have a heart condition ?
- does your child have cancer?
- does your child have an ongoing chest condition, such as bronchiectasis or cystic fibrosis?
- does your child have diabetes?
- does your child have ongoing kidney disease?
- does your child have HIV or AIDS, an auto-immune disease or another immune deficiency?
If you answered ‘no’ to all these questions, and your child is not aged 3 to 12 years, there is likely to be a cost. Check with your nurse or doctor.
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Who Should Get The Shot And When
Most people older than 6 months should get a yearly flu vaccine. Kids younger than 2 are more likely to have problems because of the flu than older kids and adults. Children should get the vaccine by October of each year. Flu season usually runs from November to May, with a peak in February.
The flu vaccine doesnât help kids as long as other vaccines do. It is only effective for that particular season. That’s because the flu virus is always changing. Each year, the illness shifts a little bit, so a new vaccine has to be prepared that contains the most common strains for that particular year.
The first time a child younger than 9 gets a flu vaccine, theyâll need two doses at least a month apart. Kids usually get the shot in the leg or arm.
If your child has one of the following conditions, make sure they get a shot. They may be more likely to have serious problems linked to the flu:
- HIV or other conditions that weaken the immune system
- Treatment with cancer drugs or steroids, which suppress the immune system
- Long-term aspirin treatment. When give it to someone under 19 who has the flu, it makes them more likely to get Reye’s syndrome, a rare but serious illness.
How Does Flu Spread
Flu spreads mainly by droplets when people who have flu talk, cough, or sneeze, and these droplets land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or are inhaled. Less often, a person might get flu by touching a surface or object that has flu virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes.
People can spread flu to others from one day before they have symptoms to 5-7 days after they get sick. This can be longer in children and people who are very sick.
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Children Who Shouldnt Get The Nasal Spray Vaccine
Your child shouldn’t get the vaccine as a nasal spray if they:
- have a severely weakened immune system due to certain conditions or medical treatments, ask your GP for advice
- had a severe reaction to a previous dose of the vaccine, or any of the substances included in it, tell the person giving the vaccine about any allergies
- take salicylates including acetylsalicylic acid
- have a history of active wheezing at the time of vaccination
- have severe asthma
If you have a severely weakened immune system and need treatment in an isolation unit, you should avoid close contact with vaccinated children for two weeks. There is a low risk that a child could pass the vaccine virus to you.
Can Inactivated Influenza Vaccine Be Given At The Same Time As Other Vaccines Such As Pneumococcal Polysaccharide Or Zoster Vaccines
Yes if other vaccines are indicated, they can be administered during the same clinical encounter as inactivated influenza vaccine. When giving several injections at a single visit, administer each vaccine at a separate injection site. The injection sites should be separated by 1 inch or more, if possible, so that any local reactions can be differentiated.
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