ATLANTA (October 27, 2017)–With influenza season around the corner, Children's Healthcare of Atlanta is urging families to get vaccinated to be protected from the flu virus this year. For optimal protection, Children’s recommends everyone receive their flu vaccination by the end of October 2017.
“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 vaccine,” says Andi Shane, M.D., M.P.H., M.Sc., Medical Director, Hospital Epidemiology, Children's Healthcare of Atlanta. “We are fortunate to have vaccines for seasonal influenza - commonly known as the flu shot - that can help prevent flu infections and prevent the spread of the flu. It’s important for everyone over the age of 6 months to get a seasonal flu vaccine as soon as possible to have the best chance of immunity when flu is present in our community.”
Seasonal flu infections were associated with 106 pediatric deaths and more than 17,600 hospitalizations nationwide during the 2016-17 influenza season, according to the CDC
"While everyday preventative actions to stop the spread of the flu and other respiratory viruses like washing or sanitizing hands, covering your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing, and limiting exposure to other ill persons can help, getting a flu vaccine is a step that you can take to protect yourself, your family and the community against the spread of flu,” says Renee Watson, RNC, BSN, CPHQ, CIC, Senior Director- Quality and Patient Safety/ Infection Prevention and Epidemiology.
Everyone 6 months of age and older should be vaccinated annually against influenza. Children younger than 8 years may need two doses of flu vaccine to be fully protected from flu. The two doses should be given at least four weeks apart. If the child has received two or more total doses of flu vaccine during any previous influenza season, they will only need one dose during this season. The child’s doctor or other health care professional can tell parents or guardians whether a child needs two doses.