How The Nasal Spray Flu Vaccine Is Given
The vaccine is given as a spray squirted up each nostril. It’s quick and painless.
The vaccine will still work even if your child gets a runny nose, sneezes or blows their nose.
Your child will be given 2 doses if they’re under 9 years old and have both:
- a long-term health condition that means they’re more at risk from flu
- never had a flu vaccine before
These doses are given 4 weeks apart.
What Should I Do If I Have Flu Symptoms
Most adults and children who get the flu should simply stay home, get plenty of rest and drink lots of fluids. Most likely, you donât need to see a doctor or health care provider if:
Other Ways To Reduce Your Child’s Risk
Besides having your child vaccinated before flu season begins, there are a few other things that you and your family can do to reduce the transmission of the flu virus in your household.
- Wash Hands Children who are old enough should be taught to frequently wash their hands using soap and water. Hand washing is one of the most basic and proven methods for preventing the spread of disease. It is important for you to wash your hands frequently as well, especially after coughing, sneezing or using commonly shared items in your house or workplace.
- Get Vaccinated Ideally, parents, other family members and caregivers of high-risk children should be vaccinated to decrease the likelihood of contracting the flu themselves and then exposing the child. However, this may not be possible during times of vaccine shortage.
- Cover Mouths and Noses Use a tissue to cover your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze and teach your children to do the same.
- Avoid Those Who Are Sick If your child attends child care or school, make sure children and staff stay home when they are sick. When your child has the flu, limit his or her interaction with others.
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Who Should Get A Flu Vaccine
Health experts recommend the flu vaccine for all people age 6 months and older.
Until recently, doctors recommended that kids with an egg allergy not get the flu vaccine because it’s grown inside eggs. But now health experts say that because there’s only a tiny bit of egg protein in the vaccine, it’s safe even for people with a severe egg allergy.
Still, if you have an egg allergy, you should get your vaccine in your doctor’s office, not at a supermarket or drugstore.
Who Should Get A Flu Shot
EveryoneOlder Than 6 Months
Ochsner offers a variety of flu shot options, including preservative-free alternatives for pregnant women and people with allergies. Please note that due to a recommendation from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention , nasal spray vaccinations will not be available this year.
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How Will My Child Get The Vaccine
If your child misses their vaccination in school, please contact your local NHS Board to find out about local arrangements for getting their vaccine at another time.
Home-schooled children are also eligible for the flu vaccine. Your local health board will contact you directly to offer vaccination.
Children aged 6 months to less than 2 years of age with an eligible health condition will also be offered the flu vaccine. Your local health board or GP practice will invite you by letter to get your childs flu vaccine.
Primary and secondary school-aged children will be offered the vaccine at school.
If a young person has left secondary school, they are not eligible to get a flu vaccine at school. 16 and 17 year olds with an eligible health condition who have left school can phone 0800 030 8013 to receive an appointment for the flu vaccine.
If you don’t know the phone number for your local health board, you can phone 0800 030 8013.
How Is The Flu Vaccine Given
- Kids younger than 9 years old who get the flu vaccine for the first time or who’ve had only 1 dose of the vaccine before July 2021 will get 2 doses at least 1 month apart.
- Kids younger than 9 who got at least 2 doses of flu vaccine before July 2021 will only need 1 dose.
- Kids older than 9 need only 1 dose of the vaccine.
Talk to your doctor about how many doses your child needs.
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Who Else Should Get A Flu Shot This Year
In general, anyone who wants to reduce their chances of getting the flu can get vaccinated. However, certain groups of people especially should get vaccinated each year: They are either people who are at high risk of having serious flu complications or people who live with or care for those at high risk for serious complications.
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends annual trivalent or quadrivalent seasonal influenza immunization for all individuals, including all children and adolescents, aged 6 months and older during this influenza season. In addition, special efforts should be made to vaccinate individuals in the following groups:
- All children who are 6 months of age and older who have conditions that increase the risk of complications from influenza
- All household contacts and out-of-home care providers of:
- Children with high-risk conditions
- Children aged younger than 5 years of age, especially infants aged less than 6 months old
- All healthcare personnel
- All women who are pregnant, are considering pregnancy, have just delivered or are breastfeeding during the influenza season
Flu Signs And Symptoms
The following are common signs and symptoms of the flu in children:
- Fever, often around 102 degrees Fahrenheit
- Runny or stuffy nose
- Muscle aches
In addition, the flu sometimes is accompanied by gastrointestinal symptoms, such as nausea, vomiting and diarrhea, which are much more common among children than adults.
It is important to recognize that infants and young children are unable to tell you how they are feeling. For example, rather than telling you his or her throat hurts, your child may be especially irritable or resistant to drinking fluids. Contact your child’s doctor if your child is particularly irritable, uninterested in feeding or showing other signs of discomfort.
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What If My Child Is Not A Chop Primary Care Patient
If your child is NOT regularly followed by a CHOP Primary Care provider, we encourage you to talk to your childs pediatrician about your options for getting the flu vaccine. Many commercial pharmacies also offer easy, convenient flu shot appointments, as do local departments of health .
If your child sees a CHOP specialist, they may be able to get their flu shot at an upcoming appointment if supply is available. Ask at your appointment about getting a flu shot and we will do our best to accommodate you as supply allows.
When Should I Call 911 Or Go To An Emergency Room
Go to an emergency room if you have any of these medical problems:
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What Are The Types Of Flu Vaccines
Two types of flu vaccine are available for the 20212022 flu season:
- the flu shot, which is injected with a needle
- the nasal spray, a mist that gets sprayed into the nostrils
Both protect against the four types of influenza virus that are causing disease this season.
In the past, the nasal spray vaccine wasn’t recommended for kids because it didn’t seem to work well enough. The newer version appears to work as well as the shot. So either vaccine can be given this year, depending on the child’s age and general health.
The nasal spray is only for healthy people ages 249. People with weak immune systems or some health conditions and pregnant women should not get the nasal spray vaccine. It should also be avoided in kids who take aspirin regularly, who have a cochlear implant, or who have recently taken antiviral medicine for the flu.
When Do I Call My Doctor
If your child is experiencing flu symptoms, it’s not always necessary to see or call your doctor. Below are some guidelines to help you decide when to call your family physician.
- Your child is not waking up or not interacting
- Your child has a bluish skin color
- Your child looks or acts very sick
- Your child needs urgent evaluation
- Breathing becomes difficult or fast
- Dehydration occurs
- Your child is being so irritable that they do not want to be held
- Flu-like symptoms improve, but then return with fever and worse cough
- Fever with a rash occurs
- You think your child needs to be seen
- Your child is considered high risk and has flu symptoms
- Earache or sinus pain occurs
- Fever lasts more than 3 days
- Cough lasts more than 3 weeks
- Your child becomes worse
Why Do We Get An Influenza Vaccine Every Year
Just like the COVID virus which constantly evolves into new variants, the subtypes of the influenza virus also evolve and change into new strains. The H protein and the N proteins on the surface of the influenza virus change their structure which helps them evade our immune system. Vaccines are modified every year to match the new protein structure that then teaches our immune system to recognize and target them to neutralize their ability to infect us.
There is also some waning, or lessening, of the strength of our bodys immune response over time after a vaccine. Each years influenza vaccine boosts that immune response and helps our immune cells remember how to fight the influenza virus.
Vaccine Wastage And Cold Chain Requirements
- Vaccine wastage due to spoilage or expiry is a concern for all immunization programs in Ontario, including the Universal Influenza Immunization Program. The Vaccine Storage and Handling Guidelines have been developed to facilitate proper storage and handling of publicly funded vaccines and minimize vaccine wastage as well as promote vaccine safety and effectiveness.
- When minimum cold chain requirements are not met by a health care provider or setting, the public health unit has the authority to withhold vaccines until compliance issues have been resolved or until completion of other follow-up deemed necessary to ensure appropriate vaccine storage and handling.
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Some Children Are At Higher Risk
Children at greatest risk of serious flu-related complications include the following:
Caring For A Child With The Flu
If your child comes down with the flu, make sure that he or she takes it easy. It is important for children with the flu to get plenty of rest and drink a lot of liquids.
Never give aspirin to children or teenagers who have flu-like symptoms, particularly fever, without first speaking to a doctor. Giving aspirin to children and teenagers with the flu can cause a rare but serious illness called Reye syndrome. It’s fine to give children medicines that do not contain aspirin, such as Tylenol and Motrin, as directed by their doctor to relieve symptoms.
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Where Can I Get A Flu Shot
- Visit your health department or a retail pharmacy in your community.
- Get a flu shot at your next scheduled appointment.If you already have an appointment at a Michigan Medicine primary care clinic, ask to receive a flu shot while youre there. Many specialists also offer flu shots through their clinics. Contact your specialty clinic about whether you can get your flu vaccine at your next scheduled appointment.
When Should People Get The Flu Vaccine
Flu viruses usually cause the most illness during the colder months of the year. In the United States, flu season is from October to May.
It’s best to get the flu vaccine early in flu season, ideally by the end of October. This gives the body a chance to make antibodies that protect it from the flu. But getting a flu vaccine later in the season is better than not getting it at all. Getting a missed flu vaccine late in the season is especially important for people who travel. That’s because the flu can be active around the globe from April to September.
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Parents: What To Expect
From early September 2021 you should expect to receive a consent letter either in printed form or digital form via eConsent, depending on how your childs school seeks consent from parents. Please read this carefully and send it back as requested.
You can find out everything you need to know about the childs flu vaccine in nasal and injection form below:
Can I Alternate Tylenol And Ibuprofen
It’s rarely necessary to rotate these two medicines, and we don’t recommend it routinely. If your child’s doctor does recommend it, however, we suggest you only rotate the medicines for fevers over 104F that do not come down 2 degrees with one medicine alone.
To safely alternate fever medication, administer acetaminophen every 4 hours, and alternate with ibuprofen every 6 hours. To avoid the risk of overdose, do not alternate medicines for more than 24 hours.
- Do not give aspirin if your child or teen has the flu.
- Get information about acetaminophen and ibuprofen drug dosage from your doctor or pharmacist.
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Vaccination Is The Best Protection Against Flu
Note: See Frequently Asked Flu Questions 2021-2022 Influenza Season for flu and flu vaccine information specific to the current flu season.
The best way to prevent flu is with a flu vaccine. CDC recommends that everyone 6 months and older get a seasonal flu vaccine each year, ideally by the end of October. Children can get vaccinated as soon as vaccine becomes availableeven if this is in July or August. However, as long as flu viruses are circulating, vaccination should continue throughout flu season, even in January or later. More information on flu vaccination timing is available below. Keep in mind that vaccination is especially important for certain people who are higher risk of developing serious flu complications or who are in close contact with higher risk persons. This includes children at higher risk of developing complications from flu illness, and adults who are close contacts of those children.
Flu vaccines are updated each season to protect against the four influenza viruses that research indicates will be most common during the upcoming season. This seasons vaccine has been updated from last seasons to better match circulating viruses.
Types of flu vaccines for children
During the current flu season, CDC recommends annual influenza vaccination for everyone 6 months and older with any licensed, age-appropriate flu vaccine.
Does My Child Need To See A Doctor For The Flu
For serious symptoms such as trouble breathing, rapid breathing or dehydration, bring your child to the doctor immediately. For non-urgent symptoms such as an earache or sinus pain, go to the doctor within 24 hours. Most healthy children with the flu don’t develop any of these complications and can easily be treated at home.
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Side Effects Of The Children’s Flu Vaccine
The nasal spray flu vaccine for children is very safe. Most side effects are mild and do not last long, such as:
- a runny or blocked nose
- a headache
If your child has the injected flu vaccine, side effects include:
- a sore arm where the injection was given
- a slightly raised temperature
These side effects usually last for a day or 2.
It’s rare for anyone to have a serious allergic reaction to the flu vaccine. If they do, it usually happens within minutes.
The person who vaccinates you or your child will be trained to deal with allergic reactions and treat them immediately.