Flu season is here, and there are several things you can do to help prepare your family for flu season. Here, Dr. Daniel Mackey, a CHOC pediatrician, answers some of parents’ most common questions about how to prepare your family for flu season.
Is the nasal flu vaccine available this year?
An advisory committee of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently recommended that the nasal spray influenza vaccine not be used this upcoming flu season.
When should my child get a flu shot?
Vaccines are already available for the 2017-2018 influenza season. Children up to eight years of age who have not received a flu vaccine in the past may need two doses, four weeks apart.
Who needs a flu vaccine?
The CDC recommends the flu vaccine for all people age 6 months and older. Certain people are at higher risk of complications from the flu, so it’s especially important that these people (and people who live with them) get vaccinated. They include:
- pregnant women
- kids younger than age 5
- people age 65 and older
- people of any age who have long-term health conditions
Can my child get the flu from the flu vaccine?
No. You cannot get the flu from getting the flu vaccine. The vaccine prevents influenza, however it does not prevent against other strains of viruses.
What sort of flu season is expected this year?
Physicians can’t predict what the flu season will be like. Every influenza season, the severity and length varies, which is why it’s important to get vaccinated every year.
Besides ensuring their children get a flu vaccine, what else can parents do to help prevent the flu?
In addition to ensuring their child is vaccinated against the flu every year, there are many things parents and other caregivers can do to help prevent the flu. Use proper hand-washing techniques, use respiratory etiquette, and stay home from work or school if you are sick with the flu, to prevent spreading it to others.