Think that it's safe to wait until the flu season hits your town before that influenza shot? Wrong, says the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) in a statement released September 2. The organization recommends that children as well as babies who are at least six months old should be vaccinated against influenza as soon as the vaccine is available.
"Parents should not delay vaccinating their children to obtain a specific vaccine," said lead author Henry Bernstein, DO. "Influenza virus is unpredictable, and what's most important is that people receive the vaccine soon, so that they will be protected when the virus begins circulating."
As for the concern about influenza vaccines for babies, children, teens and adults allergic to eggs, Medscape reported on September 2 that "recent evidence suggests that inactivated influenza vaccine may be safely given to most persons allergic to eggs. A single, age-appropriate dose of inactivated influenza vaccine is well tolerated by those with egg allergy." However, the AAP does recommend that you talk with your child's allergist, particularly in cases where the child has had severe reactions.
Doses for children vary based on previous vaccination history, according to Medscape:
- For children aged 6 months through 8 years,only one dose of the vaccine is needed if the child received a seasonal vaccine previously.
- If there is no prior vaccination or no clear record of prior vaccination, then the child should receive 2 doses, 4 weeks apart.
- Children who have not received 2 or more doses of the seasonal vaccine since July 1, 2010, should also receive 2 doses of the 2013-2014 vaccine.