Flu Season is Coming!

flu season is comingFlu season is upon us again! Or at least flu vaccination season is here. Hopefully flu will hold off for a little while. Recommendations this year are not too different from in the past, but here are some important points for the 2015-2016 flu season.

The vaccination composition has changed from last year. Vaccine effectiveness varies from one season to the next depending on match/mismatch with vaccine strains and vaccine product. Last year there was significant mismatch in the H3N2 strain resulting in reduced vaccine effectiveness. This strain and the B strain are different this year, hopefully resulting in a better match. The seasonal vaccine is not 100% effective, but it’s still your best protection against flu.

At Lone Tree Pediatrics, we have the quadrivalent vaccine which offers you the best protection because it contains four different flu strains as opposed to only three. We’ve already started vaccinating this fall and will be getting our Flu Mist soon (the intranasal version). The American Academy of Pediatrics does not recommend one vaccine product over the other, but if given the choice, lots of children prefer the nasal mist because it doesn’t involve needles! FluMist isn’t an option for everyone, so ask your Lone Tree Pediatrician.

Anyone in close contact with high risk individuals should be vaccinated, including parents and caregivers of infants who are too young to vaccinate (you have to be at least 6 months old to receive a flu shot). Women should receive a flu shot during pregnancy because they are at higher risk of complications from the flu. This also helps protect their infants by transferring antibodies through the placenta. We offer flu shots for parents and caregivers at Lone Tree Pediatrics–just ask at your child’s visit.

Children need two flu shots four weeks apart in the first year they receive a flu vaccine. If they received two or more total doses prior to July 2015, then they only need one this year (even if the previous shots were not given in the same season).

Give us a call to schedule your child’s flu vaccine.

Happy fall!

About Debra Berry

Dr. Debra Berry is a board-certified pediatrician in Lone Tree, Colorado providing comprehensive pediatric care at Lone Tree Pediatrics. Her primary goal as a physician is to help each of her patients live a healthy life and grow into a happy productive adult.