Feb 13, 2019 UPDATE: WE HAVE RUN OUT OF FLU VACCINES FOR THE 2018-2019 SEASON
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the American Academy of Pediatrics recommend that ALL children and adolescents older than 6 months be immunized, especially those with chronic illnesses such as asthma. This year's vaccine was available in one form only: Quadrivalent inactivated injectable
The number of seasonal influenza vaccine doses to be administered this year depends on the child's age and vaccine history:
- Influenza vaccine should not be given to infants less than 6 months of age.
- Children 9 years of age and older need only one dose of vaccine regardless of whether they have received earlier doses of influenza vaccine.
- Children younger than 9 years who receive seasonal influenza vaccine for the first time should receive a second dose this season at least 4 weeks after the first.
- Children 6 months through 8 years of age who received influenza vaccine PRIOR TO the 2017-2018 influenza season:
- Need only 1 dose of vaccine, if they previously received a total of 2 or more doses of seasonal vaccine
- Need 2 doses of vaccine, if they did not previously receive a total of 2 or more doses of seasonal vaccine
The CDC and the Academy of Pediatrics strongly recommend beginning community-wide immunization efforts AS SOON AS vaccine is available; protective immune responses persist throughout the influenza season. Immunization should continue until vaccine supplies are exhausted each season to ensure that as many children as possible receive the optimal number of doses.
There was one type of flu vaccine available for 2018-2019. This provided protection against 4 strains (quadrivalent) of the Influenza virus. The vaccine is prepared using eggs and those with severe egg protein allergy should not receive vaccine. The vaccine is not 100% effective in preventing influenza, and needs to be given yearly for ongoing protection. In general, those who receive the vaccine and become ill with the flu can expect to experience less severe illness and a significantly decreased risk of hospitalization and/or death.
The vaccine is the typical “flu shot” (inactivated influenza vaccine) available to kids older than 6 months. This year there will be 1 type of this vaccine: Quadrivalent inactivated vaccine for children > 6 months of age. There is no upper age limit for those receiving Inactivated influenza vaccine which contains killed viruses, and thus cannot cause true Influenza. these vaccines may cause mild fever and soreness at the injection site in 10-35% of recipients during the first 24 hours after injection, especially in children under 2 years of age.The inactivated vaccines can be administered to those with chronic medical conditions, those with immunodeficiency, and those who might be closely exposed to immunocompromised individuals.
This year's flu season may be more complex than usual. We recommend that you seek frequent updated information at the following websites: