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Why Babies and Pregnant Women Need to Get a Flu Shot

A lot of people tend to overlook the common flu. Regardless of your little kid’s age, a flu shot is a must. Flu may not seem as serious as other diseases, but be careful since it can lead to serious complications such as sinus infections and dehydration to pneumonia and even death. People with weak immune systems such as kids below 5-years-old and pregnant women are the most at risk of catching the flu and developing a serious complication.

In the United States, influenza-related deaths range from 12,000 (during 2011-2012) to 56,000 (during 2012-2013), and about 80 to 85 percent occur among unvaccinated children ranging from 6 months and older. The flu season starts around October, so you and your little ones should get vaccinated as soon as possible for your sake and your loved ones.

You Need To Get Vaccinated Yearly

There is a new strain of flu every single year, that’s why you need to have an updated flu shot to battle the new strain of flu. Unlike other vaccine-preventable viruses, the flu adapts and changes every single year, that’s why you have to be one step ahead and have updated shots. The previous years’ vaccines were to battle that year’s vaccine that’s why you need to get a shot this year in preparation for the additional strain of the influenza A (H1N1) virus.

Babies And Children 6 Months And Above Need A Flu Shot

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Children without flu shots are more prone to sickness

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that babies and children that are 6-months-old or older need to have an updated influenza shot. The season influenza shot is also recommended for babies that were born premature, starting from 6 months based on their chronological age. The shot is more needed by babies born with weak immune systems.

It Is Better If Your Kids Get Two Shots Of The Vaccine

Babies and children aging from 6 months up until 8-years of age need to have two doses of the seasonal flu vaccine, if they have received less than two doses of the vaccine before July 1, 2017. In order for their immune system to cope, the shots should be given four weeks apart from each other, so there won’t be any complications.

You Should Also Get An Updated Vaccine Shot

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A nurse administers a flu shot on female patient

Not only your kids but also you and everyone that gets near your little ones should get the updated flu vaccine. By also getting the seasonal shot, will reduce the risk of your kids to catch it from you. You have a stronger immune system, but little kids have a weaker immune system, so if they catch the flu from you or other adults around, it might cause other complications.

Nasal Spray Flu Protection Is Less Effective

A father holds his child as a nasal shot is given

Before, children 2-years-old and above could be protected from the flu with a nasal spray, but since studies have shown that the nasal spray is not very effective against a certain strain of the flu, then it is not recommended by professionals this year. So you should stick to a flu shot which is a lot more effective.

Trivalent And Quadrivalent Flu Vaccines Are Both Effective

Trivalent means that the flu vaccine is able to protect against three strains of the flu, while quadrivalent means that the flu vaccine is able to protect you and your family from four flu strains. The quadrivalent vaccine is better, but in case that it isn’t available in your area, then the trivalent vaccine is a great alternative and will be able to protect you and your kids.

The Flu Shot Is Safe For People With Egg Allergies

Some of you may have heard that the flu vaccine might be a little dangerous for people with egg allergies since the vaccine is made with a few egg proteins, but the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has updated their recommendations just last year, since an allergic reaction has been extremely rare, and only 1.31 per one million vaccine doses given. The American Academy of Pediatrics has also noted that the vaccine is also safe for children with severe flu allergies.

You Should Contact A Doctor ASAP When You See Flu Symptoms

The flu shot is very effective, but it isn’t a sure protection against the flu. It reduces the chances of catching the flu by around 50% to 60%, and like all vaccines, it isn’t 100% guaranteed protection.  There is an antiviral treatment that can help reduce the risk of complications, which is most effective when it is taken within 48 hours of the first signs of the symptoms.

If you or your child have flu symptoms such as a fever, sore throat, a cough, runny or stuffy nose, headaches, chills, fatigue and muscle aches, then make sure that you contact a physician immediately, in order to get treated. The antiviral medication is a good cure, but prevention is still better, so a vaccine is still recommended.

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