Autumn is here, and it brings joys like colorful leaves, pumpkins, and cozy evenings by the fire. This time of year also is the start of flu season, when the influenza virus begins to circulate more actively through the air. This increases your child’s chances of catching the flu.
The flu is a potentially dangerous and life-threatening virus, but by getting your child their annual flu vaccine at Valencia Pediatrics in Victorville, California, you can better protect them from catching the flu this year. Learn why our pediatric team, led by Rainilda Valencia, MD, recommends children older than six months get a flu vaccine this fall.
What is the flu vaccine?
The flu vaccine is an annually administered vaccine that protects children and adults against the influenza virus. A new flu vaccine gets created every year to ensure it effectively prevents each year’s most common versions of the strain.
Children two years and older can get the flu vaccine through a nasal spray mist or injection at Valencia Pediatrics, while children between six months and two years can get the flu shot but not the nasal mist. Children under nine getting the vaccine for the first time need to get two vaccine doses administered at least a month apart.
Is the flu vaccine safe for my child?
The flu vaccine is safe for nearly all children older than six months. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) suggests everyone older than six months get the flu vaccine, or the first dose of a flu vaccine, by the end of October.
Getting the flu vaccine can cause your child to have very mild side effects, such as soreness at the injection site if receiving the shot. These minor symptoms are far less severe than the risks of getting influenza, which has high rates of hospitalization, severe complications, and death, especially in young children five and under.
The top reasons your child should get a flu vaccine this year
It’s the best way to prevent influenza
The flu vaccine, while not 100% effective, is by far the best way to keep your child from getting the flu this year. Avoiding influenza ensures your child won’t suffer from a prolonged illness which can last 2-3 weeks, and prevents complications from occurring.
It’s easy and convenient
Your healthy child who is six months or older can get the flu vaccine in one or two quick visits to the clean and safe Valencia Pediatrics office. When you schedule your appointment, our team members can help you determine whether the shot or nasal spray is the best option for your child.
It works quickly
Once your child gets the flu vaccine, they gain full immunity benefits within two weeks. The immunity lasts throughout the entire winter flu season.
It protects other members of your family and community
By getting the flu vaccine, your child helps keep high-risk members of your family, like babies under six months old, elderly adults, and anyone with a suppressed immune system, from catching the virus. It also helps prevent the flu from circulating through your local community.
For more information about the flu vaccine and to schedule your child’s immunization, call Valencia Pediatrics today at 442-204-0019.