August is National Immunization Awareness Month (NIAM). And as a parent of three kids I look into all the ways to keep my kids healthy and safe. While some have feelings about the Influenza vaccination (flu shot) I do give it to my kids as recommended by our pediatrician.
Influenza vaccination is the single best way to protect parents and children against the flu and its potentially severe complications. Young children, pregnant women, and those of any age with chronic health conditions like diabetes, asthma, and neurological conditions are at an increased risk for flu-related complications that could result in hospitalization or even death.
While flu vaccination is recommended for everyone 6 months of age and older, it is especially important for protecting those at high risk for complications. So, as kids are getting ready to head back to school, it’s a great time to talk about the steps we can take to help keep them healthy!
Why Pregnant Women may get the flu shot:
- Flu is more likely to cause severe illness in pregnant women than in women who are not pregnant.
- Flu shots are a safe way to protect the mother and her unborn child from serious illness and complications of flu.
- Millions of pregnant women have safely received flu shots for many years.
- Babies younger than 6 months of age are too young to get a flu vaccine. To protect these babies from getting the flu, their mothers should get the flu shot during pregnancy.
- A flu shot during pregnancy protects both mom and baby (up to 6 months of age) from flu.
- Pregnant women can safely receive a flu shot during any trimester of pregnancy.
- Be sure to get a flu vaccine when they become available in your community.
- People have several options in terms of where they can get vaccinated and the type of influenza vaccine to choose (The nasal spray vaccine should not be given to women who are pregnant.
Why Parents should get the flu shot:
- To protect against the flu, the first and most important thing you can do is to get a flu vaccine for yourself and your child.
- Vaccination is recommended for everyone 6 months and older.
- Ask your child’s doctor when they expect flu vaccines to be available in their office, and schedule an appointment for flu vaccination.
- An influenza vaccination is the best method for preventing flu and its potentially severe complications in children.
- It’s especially important that young children and children with long term health conditions (like asthma, diabetes or disorders of the brain or nervous system) get vaccinated. These children are at higher risk of serious flu complications (like pneumonia) if they get the flu.
- The flu can be very dangerous for children. Each year about 20,000 children younger than 5 years old are hospitalized from flu complications, like pneumonia.
- Children 6 months through 8 years of age who are getting vaccinated for the first time will need two doses of vaccine, spaced at least 28 days apart.
- The risk of serious flu complications requiring hospitalization is highest among children younger than 6 months of age, but they are too young to be vaccinated. The best way to protect them is to make sure people around them are vaccinated.
- CDC recommends a three-step approach to fighting the flu: annual vaccination, everyday preventive actions, and use of antiviral drugs to treat flu, if your doctor prescribes them.
*I was compensated for this post through The Motherhood.