Wondering whether your baby needs the flu shot this season?
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recently updated its recommends for routine trivalent seasonal influenza vaccinations. The organization now recommends that all healthy children between the ages of 6 months and 18 years get the flu shot annually, including children who are healthy as well as those who have conditions that may increase the risk for complications from the flu.
Age: Healthy babies under 6 months
Shot or Not?: No, children in this age group are too young to receive the flu vaccine.
Age: Healthy children ages 6 months through two years
Shot or Not?: Yes.
Age: Kids 6 months or older with conditions like asthma or diabetes
Shot or Not?: Yes. These preexisting conditions may increase the chance of a child experience more harmful complications from the flu.
Age: Healthy kids older than two years
Shot or Not?: Yes. The AAP now recommends that all healthy children from six months old through 18 years receive seasonal flu immunizations, even if they are otherwise healthy.
Age: Caregivers of high-risk kids and babies younger than 2 years
Shot or Not?: Yes. According to the AAP, it is important for health care and child care professionals, as well as anyone who comes in contact with high risk patients or children under the age of five, to be immunized.
Age: Pregnant women
Shot or Not?: Yes. The seasonal flu vaccine is safe for pregnant women and recommended to help keep both mother and baby healthy. After a pregnant woman receives the shot, antibodies cross the placenta and help to protect the growing baby.
Copyright © 2004. Reprinted with permission from the October 2004 issue of Parents magazine.
Updated October 2009.
All content here, including advice from doctors and other health professionals, should be considered as opinion only. Always seek the direct advice of your own doctor in connection with any questions or issues you may have regarding your own health or the health of others.