Influenza Season: Get Your Little Ones Vaccinated

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It’s that time of year again. The runny noses, coughing and aches can make a child’s day-to-day activities near impossible. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is recommending that all children 6 months to 19 years old receive the seasonal flu vaccine. CDC experts have updated the vaccine for the 2010-2011 flu season (because flu viruses change every year, the vaccine is updated annually). So even if you or your children got a flu vaccine last year, you both still need to get a flu vaccine this season to be protected.

This vaccine protects against three different flu viruses that they believe will cause the most illnesses. For those children under the age of 5, as well as those with long-term health conditions like diabetes and asthma, it is especially important to be vaccinated because they are at a greater risk of complications due to the flu. It is also important for the following groups of people to get vaccinated in order to protect them from the flu:

  • Those who come in close contact with children younger than 5 years old (people who live with them)
  • Out-of-home caregivers (nannies, daycare providers, etc.) of children younger than 5 years old
  • People who live with or have other close contact with a child or children of any age with a chronic health problem (asthma, diabetes, etc.)
  • All health care workers

Children should begin to receive the vaccination as soon as it becomes available. Though the first cases of the flu begin as early as October, the flu season can carry into December, January and later into the winter. 

For information, visit "www.cdc.gov/flu"

Photo via http://www.nbpeds.com/flu