An average of 20,000 children under the age of 5 are hospitalized annually due to influenza complications. One of the best ways to protect your children from the flu is a yearly vaccination.
All primary school-aged children in many parts of the country are provided with free vaccine as part of their pilot program. For most children, there are flu vaccination offered for free via a school-based program; although in some areas it is done through alternative schemes through pharmacies and general practice. There is a plan that in the future, all children between the ages of two and 16 will be offered free vaccination against flu with the nasal spray every year..
The nasal spray flu vaccine
A single dose of nasal vaccine is sprayed into each nostril of the child. This is an advantage as children are always afraid of needles and nasal spray works even better than the injected flu vaccine. The spraying job is done quick and painless that will insure that your child is less likely to become ill if they come into contact with the flu virus.
The nasal flu vaccine is best for children from two years to 17 who are flue risks due to their long-term health conditions. Some of them will be given two doses of the vaccine.
Children and the flu vaccine
Children are often victims of flu and the condition is so unpleasant for them. They are likely to have the same symptoms as adults; that include: (1) aching muscles; (2) chills; (3) dry cough; (4) fever; (5) headache; (6) sore throat; and (7) stuffy nose that lasts up to a week.
Some children might develop very high fever or serious complications as bronchitis, painful infection in the middle ear and pneumonia. They may need hospital treatment, and very occasionally a child may die from flu.
For those children with long-term health conditions as asthma, diabetes, heart disease or lung disease, having flu is very serious as they are more at risk of developing serious complications.
Stopping the spread of flu
Children will not only be protected against the flu but the nasal spray flu vaccine will stop the disease from spreading to their family and the wider population. They are good at spreading flu for they tend to sneeze everywhere and don’t use tissues properly or wash their hands. Vaccinating them help to protect others vulnerable to flu such as babies, older people, pregnant women and people with serious long-term illnesses.
Children who should avoid the nasal spray flu vaccine
- Have a severely weakened immune system;
- Have severe egg allergy;
- Suffer from severe asthma (children with mild or moderate asthma are able to have the flu nasal spray)
- Have active wheezing at the time of vaccination
Children unable to have the nasal spray vaccine may be given the flu injection instead.
How does the flu vaccine for children work?
Nasal spray vaccines have flu viruses that contained weakened causing flu. It will help build up the child’s immunity to flu in a similar way as natural infection but without the symptoms.
Since, the main flu strain of the viruses change each year, a new nasal spray vaccine has to be prepared each year, in the same way as the injectable flu vaccine.
After the vaccine is quickly absorbed, it will continue working even if the child blows his nose, sneezes or has a runny nose after being vaccinated.
You and your family deserve to be protected from the annual influx of the flu virus. There are many flu shot centers in your area. Find the closest Rite Aid that offers flu shots and immunizations. No need to set appointment.