If you are like many parents, the nasal mist option made it much easier to ensure your child was vaccinated against the flu. You didn’t have to worry about your child’s fear of needles or the tears or tantrums leading up to the injection. Plus, the post-vaccination ice cream or cookie treat became more of an option than a promise.
However in 2016, the CDC announced that the nasal mist is not as effective as the injectable vaccine, and physicians stopped offering it as an option. In its updated guidelines for the 2017 – 2018 flu season, the American Academy of Pediatrics again recommended the injectable vaccine as the best option, nixing the needle-free offering.
Nasal mist or no nasal mist, flu season is still coming. Protecting your child from the influenza virus is a very important part of making sure your family stays healthy over the next several months.
“Every person 6 months of age or older should be immunized against the flu virus,” says LeAnn Kridelbaugh, M.D., President of Children’s Health℠ Pediatric Group. “The flu can be very dangerous, especially among those younger than 2 and older than 65, as well as in people with chronic health conditions.”
A few flu facts:
- Between 5% and 20% of people in the U.S. come down with the flu each year.
- Pneumonia is one of the most serious complications of an influenza infection.
- 104 children died of influenza in the U.S. last year.
- The best protection against the seasonal flu is the flu vaccine, and it’s encouraged for all people over 6 month of age.
Give your doc a try:
Although getting a flu shot has become more convenient and is available at more places than ever before, Dr. Kridelbaugh recommends that the first place to turn for a vaccination should be your child’s regular health care provider.
“Nothing is more important as we approach flu season than getting your vaccination,” says Dr. Kridelbaugh. “If you can, you should consider getting your family’s vaccinations through your primary care provider. He or she best understands your child’s medical history and specific needs, and can offer flu vaccination as part of their ongoing comprehensive care plan.”
More steps towards flu prevention
Of course, vaccination is just the beginning of the battle against the flu. It’s important to keep in mind the other common-sense steps that can help keep your family healthy and give them a fighting chance at staying flu-free:
- Practice good hand hygiene
- Cover your nose and mouth when you cough or sneeze
- Avoid close contact with sick people
- Disinfect surfaces
- Practice healthy habits
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