Serving all people by providing personalized health and wellness through exemplary care, education and research.
Explore health content from A to Z.
I need information about...
A flu vaccine is the best protection against the flu (influenza) for your child and other family members. The vaccine is given in the form of a shot (injection) or a nasal spray. It’s best to get vaccinated each year, as soon as the vaccine is available in your area. This can be at your healthcare provider's office, health clinic, or drugstore. If you have questions, talk with your child’s healthcare provider.
The flu vaccine will not give your child the flu.
The flu is caused by a virus. It can’t be treated with antibiotics.
The flu can be life threatening. Every year, about 36,000 people die of complications from the flu.
Influenza is not the same as “stomach flu,” the 24-hour bug that causes vomiting and diarrhea. This is most likely due to a GI (gastrointestinal) infection—not the flu.
Flu vaccines are safe for most children. If you have questions or concerns, talk with your child’s doctor.
There are many types (strains) of flu viruses. Medical experts predict which strains are most likely to make people sick each year. Flu vaccines are made from these strains. With the shot, "killed" (inactivated) flu viruses are injected into your child’s body. With the nasal spray, weakened viruses are sprayed into your child’s nose. The vaccines prompt the body to make antibodies to fight these flu strains.
Some children may get mild symptoms after a flu vaccine, such as a runny nose, fever, or pain at the injection site.
The CDC recommends that all children 6 months and older get vaccinated, with some exceptions. And the CDC recommends:
A series of two vaccines for children 6 months to 8 years who are getting their first flu vaccine
The CDC does not recommend the nasal spray for any child for the 2016-2017 flu season. Otherwise, the nasal spray vaccine is recommended for healthy children from 2 to 8 years old.
These children may not be able to get a flu shot:
Those who have had severe allergic reactions to previous flu vaccines
Those who have had Guillain-Barré syndrome. This is a serious paralyzing condition.
You and your child's healthcare provider should discuss whether your child should get the flu vaccine.
The following children should not get the nasal spray vaccine. Instead they should get a flu shot. A child:
With a weakened immune system
With egg allergies
With asthma or wheezing problems
On long-term aspirin therapy
Who, within the next 7 days, will visit someone with a weakened immune system
Who has taken antiviral medicine in the last 48 hours
Copyright © 2016 Baylor Scott & White Health. All Rights Reserved. |
3500 Gaston Ave., Dallas, TX 75246-2017 | 1.800.4BAYLOR