How Does A Flu Shot Work & Is It Safe For Kids?

18th Nov 2014
A nasal flu vaccine being used in the US. But what is the evidence for its effectiveness?

As we enter the flu season, it is imperative that all parents take adequate care to keep their children safe from harm. The flu can spread rapidly throughout schools, playgroups, and other communal areas, and, upon infection, can result in worrisome and painful symptoms in your little one. In light of this, it may be in the best interests of many parents in the Bay Area to have their children get a flu shot before the season progresses.

But what’s in a flu shot? Is it safe for your children? And how does it protect kids against the flu? These are some of the main questions asked by parents in the area; and if you find yourself wondering the same things, continue reading to understand how the flu shot can keep your child safe and sound.

What is the Flu Shot?

A flu vaccination, which generally becomes available at the beginning of autumn, comes in two forms: as an injection, and as a nasal spray, and contains the flu virus itself. Furthermore, a flu vaccine can protect from a number of different flu strains, which will be reflected in its title; for example, vaccines that protect against four strains are “quadrivalent,” whereas those that protect against only three are “trivalent.

Is the Flu Shot Safe?

Of course, many parents find it concerning that the flu shot involves introducing the actual flu virus into a child’s body in order to initiate an immune system response. In an attempt to quell the safety concerns, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has announced that the flu vaccines available for the 2014-2015 season are perfectly safe; the CDC further states that some children may experience minor adverse side effects, but none as dangerous as the flu.

Should You Give Your Child the Flu Shot?

If the flu shot is effective, and it’s safe, only one question then remains: should you give it to your child, or does it really matter?

The numbers, in fact, seem to show that it does; additional data from the CDC shows that in a given study, the flu vaccine was linked to a 71 percent reduction in flu-related hospitalizations among the adult population. The CDC also includes the importance of providing this vaccination for children.

If you haven’t yet taken your child to get a flu shot then, it’s important that you prioritize this task and complete it as soon as possible. Getting a flu shot for your child could prevent him or her from becoming infected, and will help stop the spread of this debilitating virus.

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