Kids Need Flu Shot Even if They Had One Last Year

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Updated: 8/29/2012 11:25 am Published: 9/19/2011 10:18 am

Sept. 5, 2011 -- Even if they got one last year, most children should get another dose of the flu vaccine before flu season begins, according to the latest recommendations from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP).

The 2011-2012 flu vaccine protects against the same three strains of influenza as last year's. It's only the fourth time in 25 years that the composition of the flu vaccine has remained the same from one season to the next.

But researchers say a person's immunity to the flu drops by as much as 50% six to 12 months after vaccination, which is why annual vaccination is recommended for optimal protection.

The AAP recommends everyone over the age of 6 months receive the flu vaccine. Infants younger than 6 months are too young to receive the flu vaccine.

High-Risk Groups

Researchers say special efforts should be made to immunize those who are prone to influenza-related complications, including:

The AAP also recommends that parents, family members, household contacts, and caregivers of children younger than 5 years receive a flu shot to reduce the risk of complications.

At least 114 deaths of children were linked to influenza-related complications during the 2010-2011 flu season.

Vaccination Options

The flu shot is the only option for children between 6 months and 2 years of age. But most children over the age of 2 are also eligible to receive their dose of the flu vaccine via an intranasal mist or nasal spray.

Children between the ages of 6 months and 8 years should receive two doses of the flu vaccine for optimal protection if they did not receive any vaccine last flu season. The second dose is given four weeks after the first.

Researchers say most children with a history of mild egg allergy can safely receive the flu vaccine. But parents should consult an allergist before giving a flu vaccine to a child with severe egg allergies.

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The views expressed here do not necessarily represent those of KOKI FOX23 - Tulsa

Mr Awesome - 8/23/2012 10:47 AM
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You do realize that the flu vaccine only has a 1.5% real risk reduction, right? The 60% reduction quoted by the CDC and the media is a relative risk reduction. The vaccine only prevents Type A or Type B Influenza in 1.5 out of 100 vaccinated adults. Only 2.7% of illnesses reported as the flu are Type A or Type B strains (they only types included in the vaccine). The majority of these illnesses are not influenza, but flu-like illnesses either from other viruses or bacteria, or influenza that is not Type A or Type B. The vaccine does nothing for these cases. That's how the the 60% number came about; Out of the 2.7% of adults who contract true Type A or Type B Influenza, the vaccine prevents 60% of them, dropping the number form 2.7 out of 100 to 1.5. The Lancet studied the vaccine and concluded that the vaccine is 98.5% worthless and there is no evidence that it protects persons 65 or older. They also concluded that protection is greatly decreased or even absent in some seasons. In other words, skip the flu shot. If you really want to prevent the Flu and flu-like illnesses, optimize your vitamin D levels to a 25 Hydroxy lab result of 50-70 ng/mL (mine is 80 ng/mL). This alone has a real risk reduction of 56%. Also, exercise (except cardio, which weakens the immune system. HIIT is a better option), adequate sleep and cutting out sugars, processed foods, and excessive fructose will strengthen your immune system. Don't forget to wash your hands with soap and water. Skip the hand sanitizer which research has found offers the same germ protection as not washing your hands at all.

The Health News section does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. See additional information.

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