Why Young Children Should Get the Flu Shot

Not only is the holiday season upon us – but so is the cold and flu season.

On average, influenza occurs globally in 5%–10% of adults and a whopping 20%–30% in children. But the chance of your child coming down with influenza is decidely reduced with a yearly flu vaccination. And for children at higher risk due to medical conditions such as asthma, heart or lung disease, diabetes, or cancer, the flu vaccine is even more important.

And a flu vaccination can keep your child home and out of hospital. Studies show that vaccinating young children against the flu significantly reduces emergency room visits. After comparing the number of children that visited ER departments at Montreal’s Children’s Hospital and the Children Hospital in Boston, researchers found a correlation between children receiving the flu shot and a drop in the number of ER visits.

Children who have been previously immunized with the seasonal influenza should receive one dose of influenza vaccine each year. Children 6 months to less than 9 years of age receiving seasonal influenza vaccine for the first time in their life should be given two doses, with a minimum interval of four weeks between dose.

While the flu vaccine can’t guarantee protection against every strain of the flu virus, it does significantly reduce cases of the flu and complications from it.

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