Influenza (Flu) Vaccine
Para obtener información sobre la vacuna contra la influenza (gripe) en español, haga clic aquí.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends the influenza (flu) vaccination every year for people age 6 months and older. Getting the flu vaccine can reduce illness, antibiotic use, missed school and work, hospitalizations, doctor visits, and death caused by complications from the flu.
This year it is especially important to slow the spread of the flu, with COVID-19 still infecting people. The annual flu vaccination is the most effective way to prevent the flu. And by getting both the COVID-19 vaccine and the flu vaccine for your child, you can prevent becoming ill and spreading these viruses.
Patients who are considered high-risk, and their close contacts, will be given special consideration to receive the flu vaccine as soon as it is available. High-risk patients include those with the following conditions/diagnoses:
- Chronic intestinal failure
- Cystic fibrosis
- Diabetes mellitus (Type I or Type II diabetes)
- Organ transplant or stem cell transplant
- Neuromuscular weakness
- Weakened immune system
- Chronic lung disease
- Heart, liver, or kidney disease
- Blood disorders (such as sickle cell disease)
- Those who are ventilator dependent
We will offer the flu vaccine to all eligible patients (6 months and older, who are safe to receive the vaccine) once the supply of the flu vaccine becomes available. We encourage family and other household contacts of high-risk children to also get the flu vaccine from their primary care doctor.
Frequently Asked Questions About the Flu Vaccine
Yes. Children who are 6 months of age and older who are eligible for COVID-19 vaccination can get a COVID-19 vaccine and a flu vaccine at the same visit. If your child is 6 months or older, it is important to get their COVID-19 vaccine and annual flu vaccine as soon as possible.
Click here for more information about scheduling a COVID-19 vaccine.
No, the flu shot does not cause the flu. Once you get the flu vaccine, your body will develop antibodies that will protect you from the flu. When your body develops these antibodies, you may experience some fever and muscle aches. It takes about 2 weeks after vaccination for your body to develop protective antibodies, so if exposed shortly before or during that time period, you may still get the flu (why it’s best to get vaccinated before broad community spread).
If there is any risk that anyone in your household can get the flu, your child could also get it. The CDC and the AAP recommend the vaccine for all children. When children are young, or have a chronic condition, they get sicker when they get the flu. It is possible to get the illness anywhere your child comes in contact with other people (at a store, in the library, at home, etc.).
The ‘flu virus’ is actually part of a family of many viruses. The specific flu viruses that are most common can change from one year to the next. Each year, the CDC does its best to identify the most common flu virus strains, and adjusts the vaccine to protect against as many of the viruses as possible. Occasionally, there are flu virus strains that become prevalent that the CDC did not expect. To keep your child protected against these viruses, it is always best to get the flu vaccine.
Children under six months of age are too young to get the vaccine. We recommend that everyone who comes into regular contact with infants get the flu shot. If they are protected, your child will be protected. Good hygiene and regular hand washing can also reduce the risk of others passing on germs that can make your infant sick.
If you find getting an appointment challenging, consider getting vaccinated at your local pharmacy (for children age 3 years and older), or at Urgent Care.
The information included in this document is for informational purposes only and is not intended to substitute in any way for medical education, training, treatment, advice, or diagnosis by a healthcare professional. A qualified healthcare professional should always be consulted before making any healthcare-related decision.
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