Lovelace Medical Group’s Dr. Felipe Zanghellini answers your questions about keeping your child protected from the flu with the flu shot. Dr. Zanghellini is board certified in general pediatrics and pediatric infectious disease.
At what age should children start getting the flu shot?
At six months of age, your child should be vaccinated with the inactivated vaccine that is administered by injection. At two years of age, the attenuated vaccine that is administered intranasally (also known as flumist) can be given to children without a baseline disease.
Is the flu shot better than the flumist for children?
Both vaccines are effective for children. The only advantage of the flumist or intranasal vaccine is the production of local or mucosal antibodies, produced in the upper airway, that are not produced with the flu shot.
If my child was immunized in the fall are they still protected throughout the flu season?
Yes, the production of protective antibodies takes two to three weeks after vaccination, and it lasts throughout the flu season and even longer.
Is it too late to have a child immunized for the flu?
It is never late to have children immunized and we have to remember that we have influenza disease throughout the whole year even in the summer. It is always good to have your children protected against influenza that can be a very serious illness.