Believe it or not, it’s time for everyone to make plans to get this year’s influenza vaccine. The concerns about receiving the flu vaccine too early in the year simply are not true: The protection from the injectible vaccine should cover you or your children throughout the entire flu season. The nasal vaccine (Flumist), which most of our pediatric patients can receive, will cover you for an entire year.
While the flu can be serious even in people who are otherwise healthy, it can be especially dangerous for young children and children of any age who have long-term health conditions including asthma, neurological disorders and diabetes. About 20,000 children younger than age 5 are hospitalized from flu complications like pneumonia each year. The Centers for Disease Control recommends the flu vaccine for all children ages 6 months to 19 years.
Now is the time to schedule your child’s influenza vaccine. Calling your pediatrician’s office today will ensure that you receive an appointment that is convenient with your family’s busy schedule. And, if you have school-aged children, sending your child into his or her classroom with the flu vaccine is one of the most important steps you can take to protect your child’s health.
Many of our Texas Children’s Pediatrics practices have the flu vaccine available, and all locations will have the vaccine available by September 2012.