The flu vaccine is the single most important way that you can prevent your child from getting the flu virus and complications from the flu virus. While you can still go ahead and get the flu virus if you’ve received the vaccine, the severity of the symptoms will be much less and usually the course of the illness is not as long. So it can still decrease drastically those risks and for complications after the flu if your child receives the flu vaccine versus not receiving it.
Some things you need to know about it is we can’t give it until the child is 6 months and older. For that first flu season that they receive a flu vaccine, they need two smaller doses split up four weeks apart. And then the following flu season, they only need one flu vaccine moving forward. It does take two weeks to build up an immunity in your system. So if you wait too long and you get it a little later in the flu season you are still at risk for contracting the flu virus because then you may not build up enough immunity to the flu vaccine before you’re exposed to it.
It helps if the whole family is vaccinated and it also helps protect young infants that are too young to receive the flu vaccine. So, I actually recommend visits when the child is 6 months and younger, that the rest of the family or anyone that’s gonna be around the child on a frequent basis, to get vaccinated for the flu. But definitely, it helps if you have a school-age child that is vaccinated. They’re less likely to bring the virus home to the rest of the family.