New recommendations after last year’s deadly flu season

New recommendations after last year’s deadly flu season

It may still feel like summer for a few more weeks, but a warning has already been issued about the upcoming flu season.

This week, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) released flu vaccine recommendations for the 2018-2019 flu season that advise all children ages six months and older receive a flu shot as soon as it becomes available, and no later than the end of October.

They also recommend the injectable flu vaccine be used as the first choice for children rather than the nasal spray vaccine, which has not provided consistent protection against all strains of the flu virus in past years, per the AAP. The nasal spray has limitations on who can use it, and due to unclear effectiveness, especially against influenza A, the injectable form is preferred.

“The very best defense against the flu is the annual flu vaccination, and the sooner your child is vaccinated, the sooner they will be protected,” says Dr. Shrinal Vyas, a pediatrician at Advocate Children’s Hospital.

Statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are a sad reminder of what can happen when children are not vaccinated. Last flu season, 180 children died of flu-related deaths, and thousands more were hospitalized. The CDC reports that about 80 percent of children who died had not been vaccinated.

“Vaccine side effects, like soreness, redness or swelling, are far outweighed by the risks,” explains Dr. Vyas. “The flu virus can cause serious complications in children, especially those who are younger than five or those with chronic conditions, like asthma or diabetes. Being immunized will protect kids from a serious illness that could lead to hospitalization or even death.”

The flu vaccine also protects others who are too young or too sick to receive a vaccine themselves, adds Dr. Vyas.

This year’s guidelines also include the following:

  • “The number of doses of influenza vaccine depends on a child’s age and vaccine history. Children 6 months through 8 years of age need two doses when it is the first time they are being vaccinated against influenza. Children 9 years of age and older require only one dose, regardless of prior vaccination history.
  • Children with egg allergy can receive influenza vaccine with no additional precautions than those considered for any vaccine.
  • Pregnant women may receive injected influenza vaccine at any time during pregnancy.
  • All health care personnel should receive an annual seasonal influenza vaccine, a crucial step in preventing influenza.
  • Antiviral medications are important in the treatment and control of influenza, but they are not a substitute for vaccination.”

Find the first-available pediatrician near you and schedule online. To schedule your flu shot, call your primary care physician, or find one near you.

Related Posts

Comments

8 Comments

  1. I am curious. Of the estimated 80% of deaths, how many were too young to get vaccinated? Also, wasn’t last year’s vaccine deemed not effective? Thanks for a reply.

  2. Thanks good article.
    What about middle aged folks ?
    What about seniors (65+) ?

  3. These big pharma companies are pushing vaccination for flu every year. The reason for the huge spike of flu cases is because people are getting the flu from the vaccines themselves. The U.S. and Canada are the only 2 countries that suggest vaccinating nearly everyone and here in the U.S., over 95% of hospitals are requiring their hospital staff to get the mandatory flu vaccine. With all these people getting vaccinated, why does the U.S. and Canada have the greatest number of flu cases and death each year COMPARED to Europe. There’s no push for the EU to have their entire population to get vaccinated and I think Europeans are smart enough not to get the flu vaccines (even if there will be a push for these flu vaccines) because of what they see here in the U.S. and Canada. Flu vaccines are what they call the BREAD AND BUTTER OR MONEY MAKER FOR THE BIG PHARMA. They don’t care about the people. They care about revenues from these vaccines. Just look or Google it yourself, compare U.S. and Canada flu cases VS the rest of the world and you’ll see for yourself…

  4. These big pharma companies are pushing vaccination for flu every year. The reason for the huge spike of flu cases is because people are getting the flu from the vaccines themselves. The U.S. and Canada are the only 2 countries that suggest vaccinating nearly everyone and here in the U.S., over 95% of hospitals are requiring their hospital staff to get the mandatory flu vaccine. With all these people getting vaccinated, why does the U.S. and Canada have the greatest number of flu cases and death each year COMPARED to Europe. There’s no push for the EU to have their entire population to get vaccinated and I think Europeans are smart enough not to get the flu vaccines (even if there will be a push for these flu vaccines) because of what they see here in the U.S. and Canada. Flu vaccines are what they call the BREAD AND BUTTER OR MONEY MAKER FOR THE BIG PHARMA. They don’t care about the people. They care about revenues from these vaccines. Just look or Google it yourself, compare U.S. and Canada flu cases VS the rest of the world and you’ll see for yourself.

    • Can someone please delete this conspiracy theory so as not to spread this complete misinformation?

      Erik, unless you are a medical professional, keep your opinion and theory to yourself. This is a medical website, not Alex Jones’s.

      • Sharon K., I am a medical professional at UIC and John Stroger Hospital. I’m sure you’re familiar with those hospitals. I’ve been a healthcare provider since 1996. The things I said in my first post are not just my opinion but shared by many other healthcare professionals. When one of hospitals (Both have mandatory flu vaccinations for employees now) I worked for started mandatory flu vaccinations for its healthcare employees, I asked one of the administrators why they’re doing this. This person told me, the goal is to vaccinate at least 95% of the employees. This is because EMPLOYEE VACCINATIONS ARE TIED TO GOVERNMENT FUNDING AND REIMBURSEMENT. The higher the percentage, the higher the funding and reimbursement for that particular hospital. The thing I hate the most is how you will just want to shut me up by REMOVING / DELETING MY POSTS. FYI, that’s not how free speech works. If you want the flu vaccine, go right ahead and be the guinea pig for the BIG Pharma companies. Hopefully, Sharon K. you will not develop Guillain-Barre syndrome just like one of my co-workers. I know some people will say the percentage of developing such syndrome is small but it’s different when you belong in that small percentage that actually developed Guillain-Barre. I’m not trying to scare you or anyone but not knowing more and being ignorant about what you’re putting in your body almost every year will have a lasting effect in your life in the future.

  5. You wrote “Vaccine side effects, like soreness, redness or swelling, far outweigh the risks,” explains Dr. Vyas.” But I think you meant, “Vaccine side effects, like soreness, redness or swelling, are far outweighed by the risks,”

  6. Regarding the vaccine causing the flu, I just checked the Mayo Clinic web site and the Harvard Med School web site and both sources validate you can’t get the flu from the vaccine. You might get sore and achy as a reaction from the vaccine but it’s not the flu and not contagious. I sense the doom of our species will be caused by fear and ignorance.

About the Author

Julie Nakis
Julie Nakis

Julie Nakis, health enews contributor, is manager of public affairs at Advocate Children's Hospital. She earned her BA in communications from the University of Iowa – Go Hawkeyes! In her free time, she enjoys spending time with friends and family, exploring the city and cheering on the Chicago Cubs and Blackhawks.