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Flu Shots 101

Experts discuss the myths surrounding flu shots.

Tue, 30 Jul 2013|

-Flu season is in full swing now, peaking in January and running through the end of May. So, if you haven't done it already, you may wanna consider getting a flu shot for your child. I headed to the pediatrician with my 2 kids and talked to their doctor about some of the myths surrounding flu shots. -[unk] Done? Come on, honey. Most kids absolutely dread getting a flu shot and mine are no exception. -This is what I'm talking about. [unk] Take a deep breath. You know what you're gonna do, remember? This-- You're gonna-- You're gonna-- I know. -So, while it may not be the most pleasant visit to the doctor's office for us or kids, pediatrician, Dr. [unk] says it's very important that children from 6 months to 19 years of age are vaccinated. This year, the centers for disease control changed its recommendation for who should get flu shots. -By vaccinating the children regardless of their age, it also protects the family and everyone in the community as well. -Hey Emily, come on in. -Some parents are worried that getting a flu shot will give their kids the flu. -There is 2 types of vaccines that are available. One is the injection. The trivalent inactivated vaccine is not a live vaccine, so it cannot cause the illness. And the other, which is the spray, is an attenuated virus and therefore it cannot cause the infection as well. -All right. We're gonna give it right there, okay. -Okay. -It's gonna hurt just a little bit and then it'll be all over. -Now, the shot isn't full proof though. Your child can still get the flu even though he's been vaccinated if a new strain of the flu appears after the vaccine is made and sent out. -By being vaccinated, 2 things will happen. One is that if you're-- if you are exposed to the flu, you may be able to fight it off faster and better so you'll have a less severe illness with a shorter duration. And also, because your immune system is prepared, you might not show up with this symptoms of the flu. -One, two, three. -Another big concern is whether flu shots expose kids to high levels of mercury. Absolutely not. They believe we get more mercury through our diet from fish than we would through any of our vaccines. -Here we go. Done. -Always check with your pediatrician first though because the flu shot isn't for everybody. -The people who cannot are people who the-- have severe allergic reaction to eggs or during the time that the vaccine would be given they would have moderate to severe illness, people who have reactive airway disease or asthma, people who have chronic lung conditions, heart conditions, diabetes, kidney conditions. -Think about your favorite thing in the whole world. Is that your costume? -It's done, Sage. It's done. It's done. -It's done, baby. -That's it. -It wasn't so bad. Well, the anticipation is definitely the worst part for my daughter, but she did say it wasn't as bad as he thought it would be. Now, remember, it takes about 2 weeks for the shot to provide immunity so the sooner the better. If it's the first time your child is getting a flu shot and he's between 6 months and 9 years old, he'll need 2 doses of the vaccine 1 month apart. Thanks for watching Parents TV. We'll see you next time.