To Flu Shot or Not?

Is the flu shot a fabulous fix or a radical risk

/ Author:  / Reviewed by: Joseph V. Madia, MD

It's flu season and before your kid starts sniffling you want to know: Is the flu shot a fabulous fix or a radical risk?



Unsurprisingly, your kid doesn't want to get a flu shot. But does she need one? If you have a child between the ages of six months and five years, the recommendation is yes! Now, the 100 million doses of the flu vaccine manufactured annually ensure that there's sufficient vaccine for every child under five. Why does it matter? Some children who get the influenza virus can experience severe illness, or—in the case of 36,000 annually—death.

If your kid isn't thrilled about a yearly shot, another option, called FluMist, is available to vaccinate her against the flu. FluMist is a nasal vaccine, which is currently approved for use in healthy people ages two to forty-nine. Whether it's the mist or the shot, however, if your children are younger than five, it's recommended that you get them vaccinated, preferably before December. After all: You'll both breathe easier as a result!

Review Date: 
January 3, 2012