Flu season is right around the corner. If you’ve been putting off getting your child vaccinated for the flu, we’re here to remind you that no one is immune. Despite many of the myths out there, the flu shot can’t give your child the flu and getting immunized against the illness works.
At Dr. Soos Pediatrics in Dublin, Georgia, we take the health of your family seriously. In this blog, we explain why it’s paramount that your child gets the flu shot early.
Getting an annual flu shot
Getting a flu shot each year helps you avoid contracting influenza. In addition to protecting yourself and your family, getting vaccinated protects the people you come into contact with daily.
Everyone is susceptible to the flu, and because strains of the virus evolve, last year’s vaccine won’t protect you against this year’s flu virus. Children under 5 are especially at high risk of developing serious complications of the flu, which is more dangerous for children than the common cold.
Only babies younger than 6 months and people with life-threatening allergies to the flu vaccine or any ingredients in the vaccine shouldn’t get the flu shot. Everyone else should be vaccinated.
Combating myths about the flu shot
The most common misconception about the flu shot is that it gives you the flu. This is simply not true.
The vaccine you receive is made from either dead viruses or a single gene of a virus. For this reason, it doesn’t cause influenza. The dead viruses are inactive, so they can’t cause illness. The single-gene vaccines are intended to cause an immune response without causing illness.
Mild side effects include soreness or swelling at the injection site. While some people might experience some minor fatigue or muscle aches, these symptoms usually appear within a day of receiving the shot and subside soon after.
A matter of timing
Getting your flu shot early is key to avoiding the virus. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that it takes about two weeks for your body to produce antibodies to protect you from the virus. So the sooner you have your child vaccinated, the better. Aim for early fall — right now — before flu season heats up.
The flu virus activity typically peaks in February and can last well into spring. The more time your body has to produce antibodies, the better protected you are throughout the flu season.
If you have any questions about flu shots for your child, or if you wish to schedule your child’s immunization appointment, call the office today. You can also request an appointment online.