The Importance of Flu Shots

Flu season is upon us, and because of COVID-19, families are being encouraged more than ever to get their flu shots. A flu shot is always a smart idea, but this year public health advocates are urging us to get the flu vaccine to protect us and also prevent hospitals from being overrun with patients sick from flu symptoms. Association for Childcare Physicians recommend that children get a flu shot and we are even offering a convenient, drive through influenza vaccine service to make the process even easier.

Children typically get their first flu shot when they are 6 months old with another shot about 4 weeks later. Peak immunity usually develops about two weeks after the second shot for babies. If your child is younger than 9 years of age and have never received the vaccine, it is recommended that they may need two flu shots this year. Older children and adults typically benefit from only one shot each flu season, with peak immunity happening two weeks after receiving the vaccine. If you have questions about the best way to ensure your child’s immunity with a flu shot, please ask your pediatrician.

The best time for your child to get a flu shot is during the months of September and October, based on recommendations from The American Academy of Pediatrics. This year, the plan is for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to provide 20 million more doses than they did in 2019. Are you thinking about scheduling your child’s flu vaccine? The earlier, the better. Don’t wait to schedule their flu shots because COVID cases may increase as the weather becomes colder and that will make a visit to the doctor’s office or clinic riskier. Plus, if you wait, it may be harder to schedule an appointment that suits your busy schedule.

Flu season can last well into April or May, with its ability to protect decreasing over time. With that said, don’t worry if you are not able to vaccinate your child until November or December. Have your child vaccinated as soon as possible to keep them healthy all winter long. In addition to scheduling a flu shot for your family, there are other ways to protect you from getting sick from the flu.

Wearing masks and staying away from others when ill can also protect others from getting viruses like the flu. Washing hands, avoid touching the face and eyes, and social distancing measures can help to prevent the spread of COVID and the flu virus. It’s also important to clean and disinfect regularly at home, work and school. Cleaning high touch surfaces can help prevent the flu’s spread. Overall, keeping healthy habits like getting enough sleep, eating well, and drinking plenty of water can help keep you well, all flu season long.

Is it time to schedule your child’s flu shot with our office? Give us a call at 618-235-2311 to schedule your child’s vaccination. If you would like to schedule a drive through flu vaccination or have questions, please ask for Katie when you call to set up the appointment. Dr. Kellow and the rest of our staff are here to help answer any questions that you may have, creating a healthy foundation for your child’s overall health and wellness during flu season and all year long. You can also visit our website at https://childcarephysicians.com/ to learn more about us.