KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — It’s time to get your flu vaccine. Doctors urge parents to protect their children against the flu by getting them vaccinated every year and as soon as possible.
Getting the vaccine is more important than ever this year, according to East Tennessee Children’s Hospital Emergency Room Director Dr. Ryan Redman.
Top things to know about the 2020-21 flu season
Don’t wait to get vaccinated.
- During the COVID-19 pandemic, the last thing we need is another respiratory virus spreading in our community. It’s important the vaccine is given to as many children as possible before the flu starts circulating in our community. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends all children 6 months and older should get their flu vaccine as soon as it’s available and ideally by the end of October. It takes two weeks for the vaccine to be effective. Vaccinated adults protect babies and others who can’t be vaccinated.
Flu is dangerous for children.
- Complications from the flu kill more than 100 children every year. Even healthy children can die from the flu.
The flu shot and nasal mist are both effective.
- The AAP recommends any licensed vaccine available this year and appropriate for a child’s age and health status be given, with no preference.
You can’t get the flu from the flu vaccine.
- Mild systemic symptoms, such as nausea, lethargy, headache, muscle aches and chills can occur. Side effects are mild, unlike the flu. If you are vaccinated, but still get the flu your symptoms will be milder and the duration of illness will be shorter than if you had not been vaccinated.
Importance of getting flu vaccine every year:
- Flu viruses are constantly changing and different viruses can circulate and cause illness each season. Flu vaccines are made each year to protect against the flu viruses that research indications will be most common and will provide some protection against any strain.
The vaccine will provide protection for the entire season.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention FAQs 2020-21 Season