The flu vaccine is given annually to children who are above the age of two. It helps to protect these children from various kinds of illnesses that are often in the air during the season. More than a hundred kids die from flu in the country every year so it is important to try to prevent as many diseases as possible. It can also cause a lot of complications that can last for years if not treated properly. This makes it essential for all children.
Schedule of Vaccination
Every child who is 6 months or older should ideally be given the flu vaccine. The best time to take it is before the fall starts, as soon as it is available. The latest vaccination will usually be available just before the fall so get it as soon as it is available. But don’t worry, if your child is not yet six months at the time, do not give it to them before they turn six months because it could be dangerous. However, even if they get to that age in December or January, they can be vaccinated at that time.
You are probably wondering why your child needs a new dose every year. This is because scientists develop new formulas about nine months before the fall of every year and they come up with a combination of strains that can fight off the diseases that will probably be most prevalent during that particular year.
While some children may need only a single dose, a lot of children below the age of eight year require two doses of the influenza vaccine. Luckily, the second one can often be given in the form of a nasal spray. So if your kid is healthy and does not suffer from any problem like asthma, you could look at the nasal spray as an alternative to a shot.
It is a good idea to consult your doctor first and find out what vaccines will be needed by your child for the current year as well as the required dosage for that year.
Who Should Avoid the Vaccine
Generally, a child should avoid getting vaccinated in the following circumstances:
• If he has had any reaction to a flu shot given before this. In this case, talk to your doctor and find out the other possible alternatives.
• If he is below six months of age. It is not advisable for children below this age to have the shot because they are too young to handle it. However, if he crosses that age during the season, the shot can be given then.
• If he is running a fever or has any other illness currently. If he is ill, wait for him to recover and you can then administer the shot as soon as he is well.