Seasonal Influenza Vaccine
This is the time of year when kids start getting sick. With the start of school and the change of climate, parents and caretakers begin to think about vaccines and Flu prevention. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) released an updated influenza vaccine recommending that all children, 6 months and older, receive the influenza vaccine.
The updated policy recommends that children are immunized against the influenza with either the trivalent or quadrivalent vaccine once it is available. The quadrivalent vaccine protects against one additional strain of the virus, but neither vaccine is preferred over the other. The vaccine composition for the 2014-2015 season is unchanged from last year for either strain.
Optimal protection is achieved through annual immunization. Antibodies from previous year vaccinations wittle to 50 percent of their original levels, 6 to 12 months after vaccination. Although the vaccine strains for the 2014-2015 season are unchanged from last season, a repeat dose this season is critical for maintaining protection in all populations.
A special effort should be made to vaccinate people in vulnerable groups, including children with chronic health conditions, children of American Indian or Alaska Native heritage, health care personnel, child care providers and staff, women who are pregnant, considering pregnancy, are in the postpartum period, or are feeding, and household contacts and caregivers of children in high-risk populations.
These recommendations from the Academy are just that, it is up to you to choose your plan of flu-preventative action for you and your family. Here are some practical steps that you can take now to prevent the cold and flu in your home:
- Cover your cough and sneeze! It starts with a tickle, a prickle, an itch: Achoo! Cover up that sneeze to avoid spreading flu germs.
- Wash your hands, the right way! Scrubbing germy hands is one of the top tips for preventing spread of the flu.
- Wash your hands frequently, know when to wash. Rubbing your eyes, nose, or mouth is a sure-fire way to get the flu.
- Keep in good health, get some sleep, and stay hydrated. When you’re in good health, your immune system is stronger. So keep yourself in top health this flu season — and throughout next year!
Stay tuned for further information and discussions about vaccines and taking care of your family this cold and flu season!