Common Specialities
Common Issues
Common Treatments

Influenza Vaccine - Why is it Important for Kids?

Dr. Abhishek Goel 90% (37 ratings)
Senior Residency, MD - Paediatrics, MBBS
Pediatrician, Gurgaon  •  15 years experience
Influenza Vaccine - Why is it Important for Kids?

Influenza is more commonly known as the flu. It is an infection that affects the respiratory system and is caused by the influenza virus. This injection is recommended for kids who are under the age of 6 months. It ensures that the baby is safeguarded from the virus during an influenza outbreak. Since the nature of virus changes year on year, the immunity doesn’t last for more than 1 year. This vaccination is ideally taken during the month of October and November. The effect of the vaccination typically lasts for 6-8 months.

Ideally, kids who have never had a flu vaccination should take 2 vaccinations within 4 weeks. Kids who have received a shot of flu should undertake this vaccination once in a year. This arrangement is ideal up to 9 years of age. Flu shot is extremely important for a kid due to the following reasons:

  • It saves a kid from chronic lung and heart disorders such as asthma and cystic fibrosis
  • Kids suffering from immune deficiency, cancer, and HIV should take this vaccination to avoid further complication of the existing disease
  • Kids suffering from diabetes, kidney diseases, and metabolic disorders should go for this vaccination without a second thought
  • Kids suffering from a neurological disorder, haemoglobin deficiency, and anaemia should take this vaccination to refrain from the risk of aggravation of the present disease
  • Pregnant women should ideally take it for the safeguarding the fetus

Flu shot should not be taken be taken if:
1. A baby is under the age of 6 months.
2. The baby has thimerosal allergy.

Is flu shot safe?
The flu shot is considered to be very safe. It does not result in flu. Few side effects include:
a. Soreness of the place where the needle is injected. This doesn’t last for more than a couple of day.
b. Body ache and mild fever for the first couple of days after the vaccination is done.
c. There is little to no pain in the place where the injection is injected by the doctor.

What is nasal flu vaccine?
This is an influenza dose that is not injected into the body, but given in the form of nasal spray. Healthy kids above the age of 2 years are fit to get this injection. For those kids who have a history of chronic illness should check with their doctor to go ahead with nasal spray. Each dose is given in each nostril. Like the influenza vaccine, nasal flu vaccine should be undertaken once for those who have already taken this dose once. Kids who have not undergone this vaccination are eligible for 2 dosages each 4 weeks apart from each other. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a doctor.

2545 people found this helpful