Most parents worry a lot about giving their kids a flu vaccine. Some of the vaccines have thimerosal—an ingredient which keeps them from going bad. Most people think that there is a link between thimerosal and developmental diseases or disorders in kids. However, research has not found any connection. In case you are worried, then just ask your child`s physician about the best vaccine that doesn’t have thimerosal. Such vaccines exist, but their supplies are limited. If your kid is more than 2 years of age, he or she can receive the nasal spray vaccine, which doesn’t have thimerosal.
Should your child get the flu shot?
Yes. A flu shot is a perfect way of protecting your children from influenza and any other problems that are associated with it. In fact, flu shot vaccines for children are among some of the safest available medicines. You might not like the idea of your kid using flu shot, but you just need to weigh the higher risks of your child getting influenza with the smaller chances of side effects. Always, it is better to prevent a disease that to treat it.
The benefits of the flu shot vaccine for children
The flu vaccine actually protects kids from influenza viruses which can cause severe illness or death. Most young kids are particularly vulnerable to influenza viruses. According to research, each year in the United States of America, about 20,000 children who are below five (5) years of age are hospitalized with complications that are associated with influenza, including pneumonia.
Kids who are two years of age and below who come down with the flu are most likely to have severe complications. Also, research has shown that in the 2014-2015 flu season, influenza was linked to the deaths of over 140 kids in the U.S.
The recommended schedule for children to get the flu shot vaccine
The United States of America Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has recommended the flu vaccine every year for just all people, including children aged at least 6 months (infants who are below 6 months old should not receive the flu vaccine).
It is most effective for your child to get this vaccine as soon as it is available in the fall. This is important since it will allow enough time for the immunity to improve before the flu season (approximately October all the way to May) is in full swing. However, in case your kid will turn six (6) months old during the winter, you should know that it is not too late for him or her to get it in January or February.
Is the flu shot vaccine different each year?
Each year, a new flu shot vaccine is formulated around 6 months before the flu season. The scientific experts always look at the influenza viruses that are in circulation all over the world in that particular year and then try to predict the strains that will be prevalent during the upcoming flu season in the U.S.
Each vaccine given will protect against at least 3 different strains of influenza viruses. However, some vaccines can even protect against 4 strains of influenza viruses. The two types of vaccines are available for the 2015-2016 flu season. You should always ensure that you ask your child`s physician about the type that is good for your child.
Does your child need 1 or 2 doses?
Most kids need just one dose of flu shot vaccine. However, children who are below 8 years old, and they haven`t received the vaccine before need 2 doses at least 4 weeks apart.