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Should your child get a flu shot? Yes, and now is the time.



Health & Wellness

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There is quite a bit of controversy and misinformation about flu shots. Whether or not you should give them to your kids, their effectiveness, and at what age they should start getting them.

We contacted our pediatric experts at Middletown Medical for their opinion, and their position is that that kids over the age of 6 months should get their flu shot to protect them.

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, the flu vaccine is essential for children.
The flu virus is common and unpredictable, and it can cause serious complications and death, even in healthy children. The influenza immunization each year is the best way to protect children.

“Each year, on average, 5% to 20% of the U.S. population gets the flu and more than 200,000 people are hospitalized from complications. At least 101 children died from the flu in the 2016-2017 season. If you choose not to vaccinate your child, you not only miss the opportunity to protect your own child but also can put others at risk.”

Middletown Medical also reminds us that parents should always check with their pediatrician for their individual circumstances before getting vaccinated for the flu.

Myths About the Flu Vaccine

Your Kids Can Catch the Flu from the Vaccine

Flu vaccines are made from killed viruses. This helps them build an immunity, but does not give them a live infection. Mild symptoms can occur, however, such as nausea, fatigue, headache, muscle aches, and low-grade fever in younger children. These side effects are mild – especially compared to the flu, and generally resolve on their own in a day or two.

The Flu Vaccine Can’t Be Administered at the Same Time as Other Vaccines

It actually can be, just at a different injection site. It is also important to note that children 6 months through 8 years of age may need two doses spaced one month apart to be fully protected. This means that the first dose should be administered as close to when the year’s vaccine is released as possible. Don’t wait until the winter.

Hand Sanitizer Should Do the Trick

We wish it did, but handwashing, although a first line of defense and a practice that should be ingrained in your kids, simply isn’t enough to protect them from the flu. Influenza is highly communicable, and spread easily from person to person through the air.  All it takes is an infected person to sneeze, cough, or even talk, and the virus passes into the air – ready to be breathed in by anyone passing by.

The nasty little viruses are also adept at transmitting themselves from surfaces and objects, like counters, door knobs and toys – and it can live there up to 24 hours, turning playthings into disease vectors. With kids, you know it isn’t going to take it long to get to their little mouths or noses. Influenza vaccine is the best hope for a flu free season, along with anti-flu prevention practices.

Where Can You Get the Flu Vaccine?

The vaccine for 2017-18 is an injectable form this year made to be as effective as possible, and is well-stocked and readily available for anyone that needs one. They are ready for your kids (and you as well) in the Hudson Valley at local physician’s offices, drug stores -  some employers offer them right at work. Middletown Medical’s Walk-In Urgent Care Centers are a quick, convenient place to get inoculated. The Middletown location even has 24/7 availability for those with busy schedules.

So get out, and get vaccinated for this season’s flu now before Fall is over, to give yourself a leg-up on this year’s influenza strain before it gets to your house!



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