What are Flu Vaccination Alternatives for My Child

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Inoculation Administration Types

There are two primary ways inoculations for the influenza virus are administered.

  • Injection
  • Nasal Spray

While there are also vaccination options available of the oral, ingestible variety, influenza isn’t regularly contracted this way, and such options are less likely to be effective. Additionally, these aren’t widely produced at this time, meaning mainly–unless some medical acuity is in the family’s repertoire–injections and nasal sprays will be your only two choices.

Injections

An injection is everything it sounds like. A needle’s used to push the vaccine directly into the body’s bloodstream, forcing an immune-system response which informs the body of what the virus is, and how to defend against it. The pain is not intense, and it leaves quickly. Additionally, it heals quickly. But if you have inoculated your child when very young, they could have developed an instinctual dislike of the procedure brought on via memory when you take them to get their shot. Some children are more aptly disposed to it than others. There are many times the prospect of the pain is much worse than the pain itself, and a great deal of caterwauling will accompany the trip to the clinic, but when the actual shot comes, the child is so surprised at how minimal the pain is, they’re able to laugh it off. But everyone is different, and knowing your child’s strength or weakness in this area is important. You should have an idea what to expect beforehand for the sake of yourself, your child, and others at the clinic.

Nasal Sprays

While there has been criticism against this form of inoculation, it is proven effective statistically. Whether that remains to be seen is something beyond prediction. Antibiotics are being phased out because their prolific use has facilitated their contemporary ineffectiveness. Could the same happen to nasal sprays? Some think so, some don’t. Regardless, this option is available, and has a plethora of numbers to recommend it. It’s essentially pain free, so there’s no mental or physical discomfort your child may endure. The only downside is the possibility of ineffectiveness over time, as yet that issue is up for discussion.

Natural Inoculation

The only other alternative for inoculation to injections or nasal sprays is exposure to the pathogen in the real world, but in a low enough quantity as to be sustainable to your child’s immune system. Some folk remedies encourage a practice of getting together when the year’s sickness comes to let it pass through everybody and allow them to process its impact initially. This is not a publicly recommendable way of inoculating from an official standpoint, as the amount and severity of the sickness involved can be unpredictable. Meanwhile, inoculations are a dead–or severely weakened–version of the virus which has been standardized for administration in professional facilities. The injected pathogen is taken by the immune system, “mapped”, as it were, and rejected. This facilitates an immune system response that is less severe than that of an actual illness, but is manageable in comparison.

When To Vaccinate

When your child is in peak health, and other children aren’t in the middle of getting vaccinated, it makes sense to get an inoculation. Some inoculation forms include weakened versions of pathogens which may yet be contagious, and inoculating right before the school year, as so many do, could actually help spread the sickness. Additionally, there aren’t going to be as many nasal options available when the rush hits, and your schedule will probably be a little bit more rigid as well. Finally, in Summer, immune systems absorb more Vitamin D, and are so in greater strength.

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