Flu season comes around every year, and that means the flu is in Augusta GA, too. It can be easy to write the flu off as “not a big deal” – and that may include getting yourself and/or your children vaccinated against the flu every year. That being said, the flu is a real and serious threat, so it is important that you talk to your child’s pediatrician about getting a pediatric flu shot (and one for yourself!). Not convinced yet? Here are just a few of the many reasons you should get your child vaccinated against the flu this year:
1. The flu can be bad even for “healthy” children
A lot of parents skip the vaccine because they believe that their child is healthy enough that the flu wouldn’t be that bad. While children with a history of chronic illness are more likely to get complications from the flu, it is also detrimental to some “healthy” children every year. Even if your child does get the flu and no complications, the flu makes for one miserable kid.
2. The vaccine is your best available protection against the flu
Some people are tempted to skip the vaccine because the vaccine is not 100% effective. This is because the flu vaccine is reformulated every year to fight the strains that we believe are the most likely to be going around that year. It’s still possible that someone make get a strain of the virus that they were not vaccinated against. That being said, the flu vaccine is your best line of preventative defense against the flu. Even if there is an active strain for the year that wasn’t vaccinated against, the flu vaccine will mitigate the length and strength of the illness.
3. Last year’s vaccine does not transfer to this year
Because the flu vaccine is curated every year to fight against the strains believed to be the most likely to go around, the vaccine fights different strands of the virus nearly every year. The flu shot you and your child get this year is not fighting the same strains that the one last year did. While many vaccines protect you for a long time, we know that the immunity from the flu vaccine starts to fade over time.
4. The vaccine will not overwhelm your child’s immune system
Some parents are worried that getting the flu vaccine will overwhelm their child’s immune system, or that their child will get the flu from the vaccine. You don’t need to worry about either of these things, however. The immune components of the flu vaccine are very small when compared with how much your child’s immune system handles on a daily basis – the vaccine is nothing to them but protection. Because the virus in the vaccine is either heavily weakened or killed, it is impossible to get the flu from the vaccine. There are some cases however, in which someone may contract the flu before the body has time to build full immunity from the vaccine (the window is about two weeks). Still, getting your child their pediatric flu shot can help them much more than it can hurt them.
5. You can help protect other kids, too
One of the biggest ways that vaccinating yourself and your child helps is through what’s called “herd immunity.” When enough people get vaccinated, it helps to stop the spread of the virus, which, in turn, helps to protect kids and adults who may not be able to get the vaccine due to some pre-existing condition. This includes women who are pregnant. When you and your children are vaccinated, you’re not just protecting yourself, you’re helping to protect your whole community. That’s a lot of people you can help protect from the flu in Augusta, GA!
At Pediatric Partners of Augusta, “we speak kid,” which means we help kids, moms and dads with life’s little bumps by talking in terms everyone can understand.
We now have three locations to better serve our patients. The Evans office is located at 411 Town Park Blvd., the downtown Augusta office is located at 1303 D’Antignac Street, Suite 2600, and the new Grovetown office is located at 5135 Wrightsboro Road. For more information about Pediatric Partners, please feel free to call the office at 706-854-2500, visit pedpartners.com, or follow the Pediatric Partners of Augusta Facebook page. With the flu going around Augusta, GA, you can get in touch with us today for more information on the pediatric flu shot and other vaccinations!