Influenza Vaccination

Seasonal Influenza Vaccine

Seasonal Influenza usually begins in November and lasts until April.   Symptoms of Influenza include high fever, chills, headache, runny nose, sore throat and excessive tiredness. If diagnosed within 48 hours of the first symptoms, Influenza can be effectively treated to reduce the duration and intensity of the illness.

Who should get the vaccine?

Currently, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommends the Seasonal Flu vaccine for all children over 6 months of age and adolescents.  In order of need, the following children may benefit the most from the receiving vaccine:

1.     Children with a chronic illness such as asthma (or any lung disorder), diabetes, heart disorder, sickle cell, kidney disease, etc.

2.     Children 6 months to 23 months of age, especially those regularly attending a group daycare.

3.     Children 2 years to 5 years of age.

4.     Any other child whose parent desires the vaccine.

Which vaccine to get?

  • Injectable vaccine: The standard for years, this vaccine contains killed strains of Influenza and is available for children ages 6 months and up.
  • Nasal mist vaccine: The “Flu Mist” is not recommended by the CDC this year due to poor effectiveness.  It is available, but most insurance plans will not cover it.

When to get the vaccine?

  • We recommend getting the vaccine in October.  It can be given as late as March or April, depending upon the intensity of the season at that time.  Call to schedule a visit for the vaccine. These vaccination appointments will be on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays.  Your child will not need to see the doctor for a vaccination visit.
  • All children under 9 years of age need 2 vaccinations one month apart if they have never had an Influenza infection or the vaccine in previous years.

What is the cost?

  • Some insurance policies do not pay for the Influenza vaccine unless the child has a chronic illness. Therefore, the parent will be responsible for any vaccine not covered by the insurance. The cost: Injectable vaccine $34 (6-35 months age), and $39 (3 yrs. and up).

How to Prevent Getting or Spreading the Flu?

  • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand rub.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth. Germs spread this way.
  • Try to avoid close contact with sick people.
  • If you are sick with flu–like illness, CDC recommends that you stay home for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone, except to get medical care or for other necessities. (Your fever should be gone without the use of a fever-reducing medicine.)
  • While sick, limit contact with others as much as possible to keep from infecting them.

Additional information is available at the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) website: 2014-2015 Flu Season