Flu season is upon us! And this year, flu season is accompanied by an ongoing pandemic. In light of this, Dr. Shanthi Kappagoda, infectious disease specialist at Stanford Health Care, says that getting a flu shot is especially important this year for older adults and young children. Getting a flu shot will help Americans stay healthy, protect those most in danger of sickness, and keep hospitals from overcrowding.
Unfortunately, the CDC reported that because of COVID-19, the rate of children getting their regular vaccinations has decreased. This includes flu vaccinations for children. And while younger people and children have luckily been less affected by Covid-19, the flu is still dangerous for kids, and most dangerous for kids under the age of 5.
Flu vaccination recommendations
The CDC recommends that children who are 6 months or older receive a flu shot. For children ages 6 months to 8 years old, this vaccination requires two shots. To be effective, the shots must be administered four weeks apart. Because it takes about two weeks for the vaccination to generate virus protection, the CDC recommends that people get their flu shot by the end of October.
Nasal flu vaccination for children
The nasal flu vaccination, which is a spray rather than an injection can be better for children who might be afraid or dislike injections. Nasal vaccines are recommended for kids aged 2 and older. One thing to note though is that kids with asthma or have had issues with wheezing should not receive the nasal vaccination.
CDC recommendation: get a flu shot!
The CDC flu data from 2019 found that 38 million Americans were sick with the flu and that the greatest “burden” was on young children, ages 0-4. You can visit the following links for even more information on the vaccine methods and how they work here:
Children’s Health Center of Columbus offers both the traditional flu shot injection and the flu vaccine nasal spray. However, the nasal spray is available for private insurance only. As the flu season ramps up, we will be offering both options. Please contact us for more information.