Flu Shot Side Effects in Children
Every year children die unnecessarily from the flu,
Hi I'm Dr. Danelle Fisher, Board Certified Pediatrician with www.WestchesterPeds.com and I'm here today for About.com to talk to you about flu shot side effects in children. Preventing the flu is especially important in children, since they are among the most vulnerable in our population to getting the flu and to getting complications from the flu. Every year children die unnecessarily from the flu, so prevention is key. Guidelines from the Center for Disease Control recommend that all children from 6 months to 18 years of age receive flu vaccination every year. What kinds of side effects should you expect when your child gets the flu shot? There are two types of flu vaccinations for children: Inactivated influenza vaccine is given as a shot for anyone 6 months of age or older with no history of egg allergy. Flu shot provides influenza protection using a killed virus so it is not possible to get “the flu” from the flu shot. There can be mild side effects that last for 1-2 days including low-grade fever, nausea or body aches, but these side effects are pretty rare, from 5-12% of children depending on their age. Any child with symptoms that are more severe or last longer than 2 days should be seen by a pediatrician. The chance of a serious side effect from influenza vaccination is extremely rare.Live attenuated influenza vaccine or Flumist, is given as a nasal spray for anyone ages 2-49 years of age with no history of egg allergy or asthma. This is a weakened version of the live flu virus and should not cause severe symptoms of the flu. Mild side effects may occur in children, including runny nose, low-grade fever, body aches, wheezing or vomiting. These side effects should last no more than 1-2 days. Any child with symptoms that are more severe or last longer than 2 days should be seen by a pediatrician. Now you know what to expect from the flu shot and when to ask your doctor for help. Remember that most side effects are mild if they occur at all but the flu itself can be very dangerous. Protect your children by getting them the flu shot every year.Thanks for watching. For more information visit us online at About.com.