Below are some important bullet points regarding the flu vaccine this year:
- Vaccination is the best available preventive measure against influenza.
- Annual seasonal influenza vaccination is recommended for everyone 6 months and older.
- Both trivalent and quadrivalent inactivated influenza vaccines are available in the US.
- Quadrivalent live attenuated influenza nasal vaccine (FluMist) is not recommended for use in any setting in the US during the 2017-2018 influenza season.
- Children should receive vaccine by the end of October, if possible.
- The number of recommended doses of influenza vaccine depends on a child’s age at the time of the first administered dose and vaccine history.
- All children with egg allergy of any severity can receive influenza vaccine without any additional precautions beyond those recommended for any vaccine.
- Pregnant women may receive influenza vaccine at any time during pregnancy.
- All health care personnel should receive an annual seasonal influenza vaccine, a crucial step in preventing influenza and reducing health care-associated influenza infections.
- Antiviral medications can reduce the duration of symptoms and prevent serious complications of influenza, but they are not a substitute for influenza vaccination.
Some children 6 months through 8 years of age need two doses of flu vaccine if they have never received at least two doses of any trivalent or quadrivalent influenza vaccine before July 1, 2017. A child requires only one dose if they have previously received two or more total doses of any trivalent or quadrivalent influenza vaccine before July 1, 2017. The two previous doses do not need to have been received during the same influenza season or consecutive influenza seasons. Receipt of LAIV4 (FluMist) in the past is still expected to have primed a child’s immune system, despite recent evidence for poor effectiveness.
If your child has not yet received the flu vaccine for this season, please call us today to schedule an appointment.