New Flu Vaccine for Babies is Now Available
Flu season, which is identified by most doctors as being from October to March, can have devastating effects on your baby. While you may not think of the flu as being a particularly serious illness, babies and children under two are particularly susceptible, as they can dehydrate much quicker from fever and vomiting than adults. While you might be concerned about what kind of side effects this vaccine has, the risk of not having your baby immunized against the flu may be far more dangerous than any side effects he or she might suffer.
Dangers of the Flu
When you think of the flu, you probably think about runny noses, coughing, and maybe a fever that lasts for a few days and then runs its course. While this is true for most adults and teenagers who are healthy otherwise, the flu can prove deadly to infants and children under two years of age. Many infants are hospitalized in the U.S. for this illness during flu season, usually because they are running a high fever or become dehydrated very quickly. Babies are also more vulnerable to catching the flu because their immune systems are not yet developed, especially if they under one year of age. While it may seem shocking, babies die of the flu or from complications of the flu each year, and since they can catch it from almost anyone, it’s important that you have your baby vaccinated.
Flu Vaccination Information
The new flu vaccine, which can now be administered to infants over six months of age, will protect your baby from a variety of flu strains. It’s also recommended that day care employees and other caregivers get the shot so that they can avoid catching the illness and spreading it to the children who are in their charge. It is important that you get your baby vaccinated before he or she starts to show flu symptoms, as babies who are sick cannot be given the shot. If your child has never been immunized before, he or she will need a follow-up injection about thirty days after the initial immunization. The cost of the flu shot will vary depending on your medical insurance and which medical office administers the shot. It’s important to remember that while the flu shot will protect your baby from the flu, it doesn’t safeguard against other bronchial illnesses or the common cold.
Side Effects of the Flu Shot
While you might be concerned about side effects that may occur from having your baby immunized against the flu, there is considerably more danger in him or her catching the flu than there is in the vaccine. Flu vaccines for babies have a low instance of side effects and are generally mild. Some children develop a mild fever and the injection site may feel tender for 24 to 48 hours, but few other complications have been reported. While all healthy babies are eligible to receive the flu shot, those who are allergic to eggs should not be immunized, as the shot contains some ingredients that are egg based or that were grown within eggs during the development process. While allergic reactions are uncommon, you should have your child tested for allergies before he or she receives the shot to eliminate that danger. For more information on the flu vaccine, call your child’s pediatrician.
Joseph Trentin is Co-Principal and founder of MedPharm, the leading provider in high quality generic pharmaceuticals and health care products. Founder of the Central American Conference, Joseph is also Pro baseball player for the Chicago White Sox and LA Angels.