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Autumn is right there on the horizon. So, along with back to school festivities and playing in fallen leaves, if you choose to do so, it’s time to get your child vaccinated for the flu. Here is some important information for the upcoming 2016/2017 flu season.
What is The Flu, Really?
You can actually get the flu all year round. But, because of the close, indoor proximity to others that cold weather brings, the flu spreads more easily in the fall and winter. It commonly starts with the onset of fever, body aches, nasal discharge and cough. Young children, can also exhibit pronounced respiratory distress, stomach pain and vomiting. These symptoms usually last for three days. Although, there is no flu cure, supportive care such as over-the-counter fever and pain reducers, fluids and rest can ease the discomfort.
Although rare, additional complications such as pneumonia, dehydration, ear infections and sinus infections may occur in children. If fever and symptoms persist and do not subside within a few days, you may need to schedule an appointment for your child.
The Flu Vaccine
The reason we have flu seasons and offer a new vaccine each year is because the flu virus is constantly evolving, presenting itself in new varieties and levels of severity from year to year. Some winters, the flu is no big deal. Other times, it can be a real issue for public health concern.
How effective is the flu vaccine? Well, that’s a matter of opinion. Of course, there are cases where those who received a vaccination did not get the flu that year. There are also plenty we have seen who get vaccinated and still get the flu anyway. Because the virus is in a constant state of flux, the effectiveness of the vaccine can vary year to year.
Though some have reported having flu-like symptoms for a short time after receiving the vaccine, it cannot actually give you the flu. So, if your child has a chronic condition like asthma that would make having the flu tougher on them, you may want to consider the vaccine more seriously. Otherwise, we truly believe it is a parental choice.
Flu shots are not required for school attendance in either New York or California. In New Jersey, children ages 6 months to 59 months are required to receive the annual flu shot if they are in daycare or preschool.
What We Offer
At Tribeca Pediatrics, we offer the traditional flu vaccine in injection form, which is a one-time vaccination, and your little one will be good to go. If, however, your child is eight years old or younger and has not previously received 2 doses of the flu vaccine, they will need to come back in one month for a booster shot.
No Flu Nasal Mist This Year
Following recommendations from the CDC of its ineffectiveness this season, we will not be offering the flu vaccine in mist form this year.
And whether you decide to vaccinate or not this season, here’s wishing a very happy, healthy change of season to you all!