- Age: Everyone over 6 months of age should get the flu shot. If your child is between 6 months- 8 years and is getting the flu shot for the first time, they would need 2 vaccines a month apart.
- Timing: Flu peaks from November through February and can start as early as October. The ideal time to get your vaccine is end of October. It takes two weeks for the antibodies to develop completely. The level of protection does not wane through the season. The earlier in the season you get the vaccines, the better chances of protection.
- Egg allergy: You can get the flu vaccine at your Pediatrician’s office if you’re allergic to egg. No special precautions are required.
- High risk: Children less than 5 years (especially less than 2 years) and individuals over 65 years are at a higher risk of complications from the Flu. In addition, any child with asthma , chronic lung disease or immunodeficiency can get sicker with the Flu.
- Pregnancy & Breastfeeding: The vaccine is completely safe in all the trimesters of pregnancy, and during breast feeding. Since the infants are unable to get the flu vaccine, the antibodies made by mom get passed on to the baby and provide some protection.
Vasudha Mahajan, MD FAAP