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.