YES. At least that’s what the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends. At first, we were hesitant to have influenza vaccine for Gwen, if we can get by with minimal amount of drugs aside from the ones listed on the immunization schedule, then we’re good. We’re also glad that her pediatrician is a little conservative too when it comes to vaccination, she’ll say to us if it’s not really needed like the Rotavirus vaccine (Gwen doesn’t really need it since she we are breastfeeding that time and just observe cleanliness at all times.)
When we learned that flu vaccines for 2012 are now available at the clinic, we asked if it’s really needed. The doctor said the following reasons on why children need to have flu vaccine:
- If your child is exposed to a number of children everyday – Hence, it is very important to have a flu shot if your child goes to school. Diseases spread like crazy in classrooms. Also, even if your baby is still not in school but you have other children in the household that goes to school, you must also have your baby vaccinated. My nephew who is a preschooler is Gwen’s constant playmate, and more often than not, Gwen’s coughs and colds are courtesy of my nephew.
- If your child will be traveling – We’re bound to Hong Kong on November, and it’s winter by that time. It’s also the time when flu (bird flu, H1N1, etc.) are starting to manifest so it’s best if Gwen has protection.
Those are just two reasons why we decided to give it a go on Gwen’s flu shots. Other things you have to know about flu vaccine:
- US CDC recommends EVERYONE to have flu vaccine including children starting at 6 months.
- Two doses of influenza vaccine at four weeks apart are given for children for the first time.
- Annual flu vaccination is needed because flu vaccines change every year.
- The 2012 influenza vaccines protects from the following strains: A/California/7/2009 (H1N1)-pdm09-like virus; A/Perth/16/2009 (H3N2)-like virus; and B/Brisbane/60/2008-like virus.
- Fever may develop as a side effect after the flu shot was given. In Gwen’s case though, she didn’t have fever.
It’s really hard when your child is sick so prevention is better than cure, and though vaccines are expensive, it’s incomparable to the peace of mind and health that you can give to your child.