The 2017-2018 flu season became one of the most severe seasons on record, excluding pandemics, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
As of Aug. 18, 2018, a total of 179 children diedof influenza-associated deaths, and thousands more were hospitalized. About 80% of the children who died had not received a flu vaccination, according to the CDC.
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) issued its annual flu recommendations last week and said that all children ages six months and older should receive the vaccine as soon as it becomes available.
Recommendations from the AAP:
Children receive influenza vaccinations by the end of October, if possible. Children who need two doses (those 6 months through 8 years, who have not previously been fully vaccinated) should receive the first vaccine early in the season for optimal protection.
Special effort should be made to vaccinate all children 6 months and older who have conditions that increase their risk of complications of flu. This includes infants born preterm and those with chronic medical conditions, including asthma and other chronic lung diseases, heart disease, diabetes and other metabolic problems, and weakened immune systems, among others.
Influenza vaccine should be given to all women who are pregnant, considering pregnancy or are in the postpartum period or are breastfeeding during the flu season.
All health care personnel, child care providers and staff also should receive their annual flu shot because they often care for individuals at high risk for influenza-related complications. Rest assured that all Genesis Pediatrics staff must receive a flu vaccine!
For more information, visit www.aap.org or follow the AAP on Twitter @AmerAcadPeds
Genesis Pediatrics will be starting our annual flu clinics as soon as we have all of the necessary product available.
***NOTE: Due to the previous ineffectiveness of the intranasal vaccine (FluMist), Genesis Pediatrics will not be offering this product again this season.