The seasonal flu is very common in children. Children under 5 are especially at high risk of developing complications if they contract the flu and may even end up hospitalized.
It is important that your child gets the flu vaccine this flu season. It is the best way to protect your child. The yearly flu vaccine is recommended for children over 6 months of age. Children between the ages of 6 months to 9 years old are recommended to get two flu shots, 4 weeks apart. The first dose primes the immune system and the second dose provides immune protection. If your child received one or more doses of the flu vaccine in the past, they will only need one dose this year.
Some people cannot take the flu vaccine. If your child has had an anaphylactic reaction to a previous dose or has had Gullian Barre Syndrome in the past, they should not be immunized.All influenza vaccine products authorized for use in Canada are manufactured by a process involving chicken eggs, which may result in the vaccine's containing trace amounts of residual egg protein. However Canadian guidelines support the evidence that shows that egg allergic individuals may be vaccinated against influenza using the currently available injectable vaccines. The nasal spray vaccine is not recommended for egg allergic individuals at this time. If the child is unable to receive the vaccine themselves, people in close contact with the child should consider the vaccine in order to protect the child from the flu (this would include caregivers, daycare providers, siblings etc.)
It is recommended that vaccination begins right at the beginning of flu season (September/October in Canada), so look into your public health agencies and even your Pharmacy in some provinces, to get your child vaccinated!