ATLANTA (September 23, 2019) With influenza season around the corner, Children's Healthcare of Atlanta is urging families to get vaccinated to be protected this year. Children’s recommends that everyone receive a flu immunization as soon as the vaccines are available.
“The flu season is unpredictable. The best way to protect yourself and your family from the flu is for everyone 6 months and older to get a seasonal flu immunization,” says Andi Shane, MD, System Medical Director, Hospital Epidemiology, Children's Healthcare of Atlanta. “A flu immunization, that can be given as a “shot” to all or “mist” to eligible children and adults, is the best way to make sure that your child, your family, and your community stay protected.”
Seasonal flu infections were associated with more than one hundred pediatric deaths and more than half a million hospitalizations nationwide during the 2018-2019 influenza season, according to the CDC.
“Every child should see their primary care provider to get immunized against the flu, preferably before Halloween,” said Stephanie Jernigan, MD, Co-Chief, Medicine, Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. “The flu can be especially dangerous for those with chronic illnesses or a weakened immune system. Hand hygiene is one of the simplest and most effective ways to stop the spread of germs, including influenza.”
Everyone 6 months of age and older should be vaccinated annually against influenza. Children less than 9 years of age who have received less than two lifetime flu vaccine doses will need two doses this season, which should be given at least four weeks apart. Please check with your child’s healthcare professional.