Guilford Pediatrics and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends the annual flu vaccine for children 6 months of age and older.
Getting the flu vaccine can reduce illness, antibiotic use, missed school and work, hospitalizations, doctor visits, and death caused by complications from the flu.
How to Get a Flu Vaccine from
Schedule a flu vaccine appointment at one of our flu clinics. Flu Clinics run annually from September to December.
Flu vaccines will be available at scheduled well visits, appropriate sick and follow-up visits, and other vaccine visits.
We are happy to add siblings to any scheduled office visit to get their flu vaccine.
We will not be able to give flu vaccines to parents or caregivers. Fortunately, there are many places where flu vaccines are readily available. Please check VACCINEFINDER.org for a list of locations near you. If you have your children receive a flu vaccine elsewhere, we ask that you let us know the dates your children have received the flu vaccine.
A booster dose may be required for kids under nine years old (if the child has not received two doses before this season). For kids with egg allergy, the shot may need to be given at the allergist.
Influenza (flu) season starts in the fall and usually ends in the spring, peaking in February. Because a respiratory virus causes the flu, it can spread rapidly. It can spread when children touch a contaminated hard surface and then touch their eyes, nose, or mouth. The flu is mainly an upper respiratory infection, with symptoms such as a sudden fever, chills, body shakes, headache, body aches, tiredness, sore throat, dry hacking cough, stuffy runny nose, and sometimes vomiting and diarrhea. Complications of the flu can include secondary pneumonia or dehydration, among other rare outcomes. The flu vaccine offers good protection against several of the strains of the flu that will circulate this year, and there is evidence that even if a vaccine recipient gets the flu, it is likely to be less severe than in an unvaccinated person.
Influenza patients in higher-risk groups, including patients under two years old, patients with underlying medical problems such as asthma or heart conditions, patients who live with someone who is at high risk from contracting the flu, such as a younger sibling, an older relative, or an immunocompromised person--may qualify for Tamiflu treatment. It is most effective if started within 48 hours of the beginning of symptoms. Tamiflu may reduce the severity and duration of influenza. Because Tamiflu can have some undesirable side effects, including nausea and vomiting, we tend not to prescribe it for lower-risk patients. However, the decision whether or not to use Tamiflu in an influenza patient will be made based on the overall circumstances of the illness and the patient's individual health. Children in low-risk groups with severe illness will generally be treated with Tamiflu.
Have any questions about the flu or want to make an appointment? Please call us at (203) 453-5235.