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Influenza, commonly known as flu, is a viral infection caused by the influenza virus. The flu is highly contagious and one of the most common recurring seasonal diseases. It affects the throat, nose, sinuses, and lungs and can cause serious complications among younger children, pregnant women, and people with low immunity. Flu symptoms can make children fussy, weak, and irritating. One of the best approaches to prevent the disease is vaccination.
If you are a parent of young children, then this article is for you. Here we’ll discuss the flu vaccination, its types, and the ideal time for getting one.
One of the best forms of protection from the flu is vaccination which is recommended annually for children below 5 years of age. A flu vaccination protects children from influenza-causing viruses. It is said to reduce the severity of flu/influenza in people and reduce the possibilities of hospitalisation, which is a cause of worry among many parents. Flu vaccination also helps in preventing the transmission of flu to other people.
Types of Annual Flu Vaccines
There are two types of flu vaccines: intranasal and injectable vaccines.
The injectable vaccine is administered via a sterile injection into a patient’s muscle. It causes slight pain to the patient and also leaves mild side effects like soreness or redness at the injection site.
The intranasal vaccine is administered as a spray into the nostrils. It is a human live attenuated flu vaccine.
When Can Your Child Receive the Flu Vaccination?
Influenza/flu vaccination can be given to babies after six months, two doses, four weeks apart (when given first time until 9 years of age). Subsequently, the annual flu vaccination should be given continuously to children up to five years of age or as recommended by your paediatrician. For any advice or doubt, do consult your doctor.
Why Should Your Child Get the Flu Vaccination?
Vaccinating your child with the flu vaccination will:
- Keep them away from the potential illness.
- Reduce missing school or daycare.
- Reduce doctor visits and leave more time to spend time with your child.
- Prevent your child from spreading the flu to others, especially younger children.
The video by our expert will give you a better insight into influenza vaccination with their scientific answers. For any advice or doubt, do consult your doctor.
Why Do Children Need Flu Vaccination Every Year?
The flu viruses continuously change, causing new flu strains to circulate every flu season. This requires renewing the vaccination formula to protect against the illness. Also, the protection of the flu vaccination wears off over time. Hence, annual flu vaccination will help keep a continuous supply of antibodies in children to tackle the influenza virus. You can keep track of your child’s flu vaccination using this easy-to-understand vaccination tracker by GSK – MyVaccinationHub.
Side Effects of Influenza Vaccination
The flu vaccination may cause soreness or redness at the injection site and some mild side effects, including:
- Muscle ache
For more details on side effects, please consult your doctor.
1. Is it possible for children to get the flu from the flu vaccine?
No, the flu vaccination does not cause flu in children. However, it causes some mild side effects, which shouldn’t be mistaken for the flu.
2. What is the best time to get the flu vaccination?
The flu season and its severity vary as per geography. In India, there are majorly two seasons of flu, i.e., monsoon and winter. It is best to get the flu vaccination as soon as a new flu vaccine is available. Remember to consult the doctor.
Children get very fussy and irritated when they contract the flu. Therefore, timely vaccination and hygienic practices should be taken care of by parents to keep illnesses at bay. If you have any queries regarding the vaccination of your baby, please consult your doctor.
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Issued in the public interest by GlaxoSmithKline Pharmaceuticals Limited. Dr. Annie Besant Road, Worli, Mumbai 400 030, India.
Information appearing in this material is for general awareness only. Nothing contained in this material constitutes medical advice. Please consult your doctor for any medical queries, any questions or concerns you may have regarding your condition. The disease list indicated for vaccination is not complete, please consult your child’s Paediatrician for the complete vaccination schedule.
NP-IN-FLT-OGM-220007, DoP Jun 2022