Influenza Vaccine Tips and Hints for Parents
Does my child need to be vaccinated?
- Everyone 6 months of age and older should be immunized if they do not have a contraindication to the vaccine.
When should the vaccination be given?
- The vaccine should be given as soon as it is available in late summer and should be given through fall, winter and into spring.
- How many doses will my child need?
- 2 doses of influenza vaccine separated by at least 4 weeks should be given to all children age 6 months through 8 years of age who are receiving influenza vaccine for the first time.
What about the intranasal vaccine?
- The intranasal influenza vaccine can be used for healthy non-pregnant people from age 2 through 49 years.
- If my child has a minor illness can she still be immunized?
- Minor illnesses with or without fever do not prevent your child from receiving the influenza vaccine.
If my child has had a serious systemic or anaphylactic reaction to a prior dose of vaccine should she receive the influenza vaccine?
- No. A prior reaction of this type prevents further influenza vaccine administration.
What if my child has an egg allergy?
- The regular influenza vaccine may be given to some children with egg allergy. This needs to be discussed with your doctor.
- Do not give nasal spray influenza vaccine to people who have a hypersensitivity reaction of any type to eggs.
What are the most common side effects of the flu shot?
- Soreness, redness and rare itching at the injection site for 1-2 days.
What are the most common side effects of the intranasal flu vaccine?
- Runny nose and nasal congestion are the most common side effects.
What if my child has asthma?
- If your child has asthma she can receive the regular influenza vaccine.
- Children over age 4 years with asthma can receive the nasal spray vaccine.