But unlike previous years, we now no longer recommend the nasal spray form of flu vaccine. Results of an important study were announced in May 2016 after experts compared the results of flu vaccine given by shots versus nasal spray between 2013 and 2016. The study showed the nasal spray was much less effective in preventing cases of the flu in children.
We strongly encourage your child to receive the flu vaccine to prevent symptoms including respiratory illness combined with nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. These symptoms can be severe in children. Our current recommendations for flu season include the following, in accord with the recommendations of the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:
- Children aged 6 months and above should be vaccinated with flu shots.
- In children 6 months to 9 years, they should receive one dose if they’ve previously received two or more doses before July 1, 2016. If they’re received fewer than two doses during that period, we recommend they receive two doses.
- Children 9 years and older require only one dose.
- We also recommend that pregnant women receive the flu shot, which should provide protection for the mother and her baby.
- Children with chronic diseases like asthma and sickle cell anemia should also receive flu shots this season, as should their caregivers and family members.
We welcome your calls to discuss your concerns about flu and flu prevention for your children. We will be providing flu shots at all of our offices this fall and into 2017, when the 2016-2017 season ends. Please give us a call at your convenience to schedule an appointment for flu shots.