The flu season is quickly approaching! This year it’s even more important that your family gets your influenza vaccine because influenza, commonly called the flu, is a respiratory virus, similar to COVID-19. Flu shots and the FluMist are available at Children’s Minnesota!
This flu season, your family may have double the risk of contracting a respiratory illness so protecting your family should be top-of-mind and that includes staying up-to-date on immunizations. While there isn’t a vaccine for COVID-19 yet, there is an influenza vaccine—which is proven to be both safe and effective!
Did you know? Getting a flu shot can reduce a child’s risk for being hospitalized with complications related to influenza by 74 percent, according to Patsy Stinchfield, senior director of infection prevention and control at Children’s Minnesota.
How can I get immunizations?
Children’s Minnesota Primary Care clinics are open, safe and ready to provide flu shots to the whole family. In fact, you may be able to get your flu shot too when you bring your child in for their vaccine. When you schedule their appointment, ask if vaccines are available for parents too, so you can save time in your busy schedule.
You can make an in-person appointment for a flu shot, or you can get a flu shot during your child’s next well-child check-up.
Who should get a flu shot
Everyone older than 6 months old should get a flu shot every year—even pregnant women. Because the influenza virus changes, experts update the vaccine to make it effective against the current strains spreading through the community.
While the vaccine isn’t 100 percent effective at preventing symptoms of the flu, it can limit the severity and the duration of the infection.
When should I get a flu shot?
Because the virus is always changing, it’s hard to predict when flu season will officially start, so you and your children should get the flu vaccine early. Flu shots are available this year from September through April, but earlier is better for protection from the flu. It’s important to note that children younger than age 9 may need two doses of the flu vaccine four weeks apart to be fully immune. But it’s never too late to get a flu shot!
Why are vaccines important?
A survey by the Minnesota chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics shows a 30-40 percent drop in childhood immunizations and a 40-50 percent decline in adolescent vaccinations since the COVID-19 pandemic began.
Parents should not delay their children’s vaccinations in order to keep them safe and healthy. Through vaccines, parents have the power to protect kids against serious diseases like influenza, measles, whooping cough and cancers caused by HPV.
Vaccines don’t just keep you safe—they protect everyone you come in contact with, including those who cannot be vaccinated. Make an appointment today to get a flu shot for your kids and yourself.