Which flu vaccine should children get this year?

Boy getting a flu shot

Kids are back in school and fall is upon us. Unfortunately, so is flu season.

Influenza (flu) season runs from October through May—and, as with any other type of illness, prevention is the best protection. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommended that all children over the age of 6 months get vaccinated.

Why?

“Many people think the flu is just a bad cold—but it can be a very serious illness,” explains Kimberly Trujillo, MD, at Altos Pediatric Associates. “The flu can have your child in bed for a whole week or more with a fever, painful cough and body aches. Even worse, the flu can lead to serious complications such as pneumonia, hospitalization and severe dehydration.”

Every year, about 20,000 kids younger than 5 years old are hospitalized with complications from the flu. As a parent, the best thing you can do to protect your children from the flu is to get them vaccinated. Everyone around them should be vaccinated, too.

This year, the 2018-2019 influenza season, there are two types of influenza vaccines available. The first is what many people call the “flu shot.” The second comes as a nasal spray.

The nasal spray flu vaccine has not been available for the past couple of seasons due to low protection rates, it is now back on the market. Although it has been approved by the APP and CDC, the flu shot is still the preferred type of vaccine for this flu season.

Vaccine formulations usually change year to year to be as effective as possible. Some years, the flu vaccine works really well in preventing cases of influenza, and some years not as well. Even in years where it doesn’t work as well, though, it almost always offers some level of protection from catching the flu and decreases the risk of a serious complication.

Stanford Children’s Health recommends getting your child vaccinated before flu season hits. Check with your pediatrician or explore our pediatric locations through the Stanford Children’s Health network.

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One Response to “Which flu vaccine should children get this year?”

  1. Annie

    The article in no way answers the question in its title. Clicking on this was a waste of time.

    Reply

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