Ask A Pediatrician: The Flu Shot
Q. When does my child need the flu shot?
A. The time to get a flu shot is now! “Flu season” is during the winter months. I think of it as an October to April event. I remind my patients that when you see an advertisement for the Mississippi State Fair it is time to get your flu shot. Most clinics are receiving shipments of flu vaccine now.
We start vaccination at 6 months of age. For those patients who are under the age of 8, the best way to promote immunity is to receive two doses one month apart.
Let me give you some examples. If your child turns 6 months old in March, then the second dose is due in April. What if your local clinics are out of vaccine at that time? The next year you would get two doses one month apart.
If your child who is less than 8 years old has never had the vaccine and you choose to get it, then he/she should get two doses in that season one month apart. From that point on they would get one dose a year.
Personally, I am anxious about how Covid will affect flu season this year. Last year we did not see as many cases of flu because we were masking, social distancing and avoiding gatherings. Our communities are opening up and masking less so it will be interesting to see how this affects flu season. If you are a parent of a child recovering from Covid or RSV, I would strongly encourage you to vaccinate against the flu. If your child has a history of asthma, congenital heart disease or immune suppression they definitely need the flu shot.
Flu shots are available at TrustCare Kids now. We are happy to answer any questions you might have.
DR. CATHERINE PHILLIPPI is a pediatrician at TrustCare Kids in Gluckstadt, MS. Visit trustcarekids.com to learn more.