Vicki Barag, nurse and Director of Clinic Services at Allegro Pediatrics, reviews the importance of the flu vaccine and answers common questions about the flu.
The best thing we can do to protect ourselves and our community from preventable diseases is to receive vaccines. It is important to protect yourself and your loved ones from Influenza (flu) every year by getting a flu shot. Everyone 6 months of age and older is eligible to receive the flu vaccine.
It is important to remember that the flu shot is an annual vaccine. Everyone should be vaccinated each year because protection from the flu shot declines over time and the flu virus in circulation can change. The flu vaccine is updated every year in order to match the virus predicted to circulate that year.
Getting vaccinated against flu not only protects you but those around you including vulnerable populations like the sick and elderly.
We will be offering Drive-Thru Flu Shot Clinics this fall for Allegro patients. Visit our Drive-Thru Flu page for more information. Your child can also receive a flu shot at any scheduled appointment in clinic beginning in early September. If Allegro's availability doesn't work for your family, please visit Vaccines.gov to find a convenient time and location for your child to receive their flu shot.
The flu vaccine is only available to patients 6 months and older. Depending on their age, some children may need 2 doses of the flu vaccine for best protection.
Children 9 years and older: 1 dose
Children 6 months through 8 years: Some may need 2 doses for best protection
Schedule a sick visit for your child to be tested for the flu. Symptoms you may notice include a sudden onset of symptoms, high fever, body aches, chills, headache, cough, runny nose, and sore throat. Your child may feel very sick for the first 3-4 days – this is common. It may take 3-4 days for a fever to subside, 1-2 weeks for congestion or runny nose to stop, and up to 3 weeks for a cough to diminish. If your child is uncomfortable from a fever or body aches, you may give ibuprofen (if your child is over 6 months of age) or acetaminophen as needed. Antibiotics are not helpful for the flu. Most children get better with time, rest, and hydration.
If your child develops a complication of the flu or has a high-risk factor (children under age 5 and children with chronic medical conditions such as asthma or diabetes), please call your child's doctor.
Call your child’s doctor if your child has:
Visit symptom checker on our website for homecare advice or call your child’s clinic to talk to a nurse about your child’s symptoms.
If your child develops the flu or symptoms of the flu, they should stay home from school or childcare for at least 24 hours after their fever is gone without the use of fever-reducing medications. Limit contact with others to keep from infecting them.
The single best way to prevent the flu is by getting the vaccine every flu season. Getting the flu vaccine helps keep you from getting sick, and can also reduce symptoms if you get the flu. The flu shot prevents millions of people from getting the flu each year and reduces the risk of hospitalizations related to the flu virus.
Some other ways you can help prevent the spread of flu and other viruses include: