Every year the flu shot prevents millions of infections and flu-related visits to the doctor’s office. Early vaccination reduces the risk of severe illness, hospitalization, and death.
The annual flu vaccine is the best form of prevention for your child. The CDC recommends that everyone six months of age and up get the flu vaccine annually.
Why your child should get the vaccine
The flu is different each year, so it is essential that your child gets vaccinated annually. For some, the flu is mild, resulting in a few days of feeling yucky, while for others it can result in more serious illness. Complications of the flu can include pneumonia, ear infections, sinus infections, or worsening of existing conditions like diabetes or asthma.
While some children who get the vaccination will still get the flu, vaccination reduces the severity of the illness. This ensures that children to do get sick are able to recover quickly, and return to normal activities.
Now is the time for your family to get the vaccine! The body typically takes two weeks to develop an immune response, so the earlier you and your children can get the vaccine, the better.
Where to get the flu shot
Your family can get the flu vaccine at the doctor’s office, urgent care, or a local clinic or health center. Many schools also offered flu vaccine drives. Pharmacies like CVS, Walgreens and Duane Reade also offer the vaccine.
Visit https://www.vaccines.gov to find a flu vaccination near you!
COVID-19 and the Flu Shot
While flu season is here, COVID-19 remains. Your child is at risk of both illnesses, and can even get both illnesses at the same time (research is underway to determine how common this is). Remember, the flu vaccine only protects your child from the flu, and the COVID-19 vaccine only protects your child from COVID-19, so your child should get both.
If getting the vaccines at the same time, we recommend that your child get one in each arm, as a sore arm is a common side effect. Receiving both vaccines at the same time does not influence the effectiveness of either vaccine, or cause more side effects.
Can my child get the flu from the flu shot?
No. The flu vaccine is a deadened form of the virus. Minor side effects that may occur include soreness, redness or swelling where the shot was given, low grade fever, and aches. These side effects are the body responding to the vaccine! Since the vaccine takes 2 weeks to develop an immune response, it is possible that your child could get the flu during the 2 week period. Be sure to encourage your child to be extra careful (wash hands frequently, avoid close contact, etc), during this period.
If my child has COVID-19, can they get the flu?
Yes, it is possible to get both illnesses at the same time.
Can my child get the flu vaccine and the COVID-19 vaccine at the same time?
Yes. Your child can safely get both vaccines at the same time, and it does not matter which vaccine is administered first.
Can the flu be asymptomatic?
Yes! In fact, 20% to 30% of people carrying the virus each year never show symptoms.
Who should get the flu shot?
Everyone older than 6 months old.
Don’t delay, get the flu shot today!