Only about 50 percent of the U.S. population will get a flu shot this year despite overwhelming agreement among medical experts and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that every person older than six months should get vaccinated every year to protect themselves.
Should your child get a flu shot? In most cases, yes.
People less than 6 months of age and those with severe, life-threatening allergies to the flu vaccine or any ingredient in the vaccine (e.g., gelatin or antibiotics) are the only exceptions.
Influenza is a highly contagious respiratory infection that infects the nose, throat and oftentimes lungs. Common symptoms include fever, chills, muscle aches, cough, congestion, runny nose, headaches and fatigue. For most people, the flu resolves on its own, but it can lead to severe complications including hospitalization, particularly among young children up to 5 years old.
Getting your child vaccinated is the best way to prevent the flu and lessen its potential complications. This holds true even when the vaccine doesn’t completely prevent the flu.
Choosing to get the flu shot this year is important because both the flu and COVID-19 cause similar signs and symptoms. Preventing or reducing the severity of the flu illness and hospitalizations could also help reduce strain on our hospitals and health care system.
The flu is a real and serious threat to the health of our children, and the flu shot is our best defense. If you still have concerns about the flu vaccine, talk to a Pomona Valley Health Centers physician and figure out the best way to keep your child safe this flu season. Call 909-378-9513 to schedule an appointment.
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