Doctors are urging parents to get their children the flu vaccine as soon as vaccinations become available as the season approaches.
Flu season in east Tennessee usually begins around late October, with peaks in January or February, but it can last until May or later, according to the Knox County Health Department.
Dr. Katy Stordahl at East Tennessee Children’s Hospital gave some tips for things to know going into the 2018-2019 flu season.
Stordahl, an ER doctor, said that on average, 100 children die of complications from the fly each year. Even healthy can die from the flu.
Some of the ways to protect children via flu vaccinations are the Flu Mist, a nasal spray vaccine that manufacturers have improved to protect against flu viruses; however, Stordahl said the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that the flu shot is still the best option.
Other tips for protection against the flu include getting the vaccine annually. Once the flu shot or nasal spray is ingested, it takes two weeks for the vaccine to become effective. The vaccine should provide protection for the entire season.
Flu viruses change with each season and different viruses can circulate, which is why researchers recommend getting the vaccine for the most common strains of the virus.