The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends an influenza vaccine for people of all ages, including children six months and older, unless they have a medical reason not to get a flu shot.
It’s also recommended to vaccinate your kids against influenza by the end of October because flu season begins in October, and it takes up to two weeks after the vaccination to be protected from the flu.
Annual influenza vaccination is essential for kids due to numerous reasons. Here are some specific benefits of getting annual flu shots for kids.
Reduces the Risk of Getting Flu
Flu is a highly contagious respiratory illness caused by the influenza virus. Flu can result in a range of symptoms from mild to severe. While flu shots are not 100% effective at preventing flu, they can still greatly reduce the risk of getting flu, which can be very serious in kids with chronic medical conditions or compromised immune systems.
Protect Against the Complications of the Flu
Flu shots can also make flu symptoms less severe if a child who received the vaccine still gets the flu. Moreover, it protects children at higher risk for developing flu complications such as pneumonia, bronchitis, asthma flare-ups, ear infections, heart problems, and acute respiratory distress syndrome.
Administering annual flu shots also reduces hospitalization and mortality rates associated with influenza and its complications.
Protect Against Changing Strains of Flu Virus
The influenza virus can undergo genetic mutations and produce new strains or variants of the virus over time. The World Health Organization and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention closely monitor influenza viruses worldwide for any mutations. Based on their surveillance and analysis of circulating influenza strains, they make recommendations for the composition of the annual flu vaccine.
The flu vaccine is updated each year against the strains of the flu virus that are more likely to circulate that flu season. When you receive a vaccine, your immune system learns to recognize and fight off the new strains quickly to prevent your child from getting sick.
Sometimes, the composition of the influenza vaccine is kept the same from one year to the next. Even then, it is still important to get annual flu shots because the body’s immunity against the virus declines over time.
Protect Others from Getting the Flu
Children who regularly get their flu shots are less likely to spread the flu to others. This is especially important for protecting people at high risk of serious flu complications, such as older adults, infants, and people with compromised immune systems and chronic health conditions.
Child Vaccination Near Me in Spring and the Woodlands, TX
Child vaccination is the best way to protect your child from prevalent deadly diseases and infections. At Northwoods Pediatric Center, we have highly trained and compassionate pediatricians who not only provide vaccination to children of all ages but also ensure that they remain up to date on their vaccinations.
If you would like to schedule a child vaccination or make a private consultation with our pediatrician, call us today at (281) 296-7770 or fill out our convenient online appointment request form