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child playing at schoolphoto by Tanaphong Toochinda

The flu virus affects people all over the world each year. Children aged 2 and below are at an increased risk of experiencing severe health complications due to flu. The 2017-18 flu season has been particularly hard on children with around 53 pediatric flu-related deaths reported in the US. And we are just four months into the flu season.

After reading this article you will know why it's essential to get your child a flu shot every year before the start of the flu season.

Why Vaccination is Important for Children

Getting vaccinated is one of the best ways of protecting your child against the flu. Flu vaccines are made from inactivated strains of flu viruses. Exposure to the viruses prompts the immune system to generate antibodies. This prepares the body to ward off viruses, and greatly reduces the risk of experiencing severe health complications that can result from the flu.

Parents should not believe in reports circulated in the mainstream media about the link between autism and vaccination. No credible study has yet been published linking vaccination with autism or other mental diseases in children. In fact, a lot of studies have shown that vaccination greatly reduces the risk of flu-related fatalities in children.

One study that was published in Pediatrics found that children who get vaccinated are less likely to die from flu. The researchers had examined 358 laboratory-confirmed influenza-associated pediatric deaths between the period 2010 and 2014.  They found that nearly 74 percent of influenza-associated pediatric victims had not received any vaccination before becoming ill.

The study found that the flu vaccine provided significant protection against influenza-related deaths among children across different seasons and virus types.

Are Vaccines Safe for Babies?

Introducing viruses through vaccination won't result in your baby experiencing serious health effects. Similar to adults, babies have a large number of immune cells that protect against viruses and bacteria. Exposing them to viruses through vaccination is safe, and will allow their bodies to become more resilient and remain healthy in the future.

Nevertheless, CDC recommends that babies under the age of 6 months not be given a flu vaccine. At this tender age, their bodies have not developed an appropriate immune response.

Remember that the flu virus changes every year. That's why it's important to vaccinate your child at the start of each flu season. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that children get a flu shot by the end of October. If your child has not been vaccinated, it's not too late as the flu season runs until May.

Contact Glen Allen Pediatrics to discuss any concerns you have about your child's health. You can schedule an appointment with one of our experienced pediatricians today by dialing 804-282-4210.

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