Influenza vaccine in infants

Influenza vaccine in infants

Influenza vaccine is mandatory in infants over 6 months. It protects young children from severe respiratory infections with viruses and their complications that can cause death. Specialists claim that vaccinated babies are also prevented by conditions such as asthma or ear infections.

What is the flu shot?

This vaccine is an injection (or a spray) that contains several strains of inactive viruses and is meant to protect people from infections with those viruses.

The composition of the vaccine changes every year after making a statistic with the most widespread strains of viruses found in the territory of the country. The strains with the highest weight are selected to be included in the influenza vaccine content.

How old can the flu vaccine be in children?

Specialists claim that babies between 6 and 23 months - can get flu vaccine without problems.

Pediatric specialists say that the flu vaccine is very safe in this age group and that it is the safest way to prevent the flu.

Children younger than 2 years are at high risk for complications from influenza virus infection.

In what situations is the baby not allowed to get the flu shot?

Before administering the flu shot to your baby, talk to your doctor for consent. In general, a baby cannot get the flu shot if:

  • is less than 6 months old;

  • has an allergy to eggs;

  • has had an adverse reaction to the flu vaccine in the past;

  • has a virulence at the time of vaccination.

Which method is best for infants: injection or nasal spray?

In addition to the injection, a method of immunization against seasonal influenza appeared: nasal spray. Can this be used in babies too?

Specialists claim that babies from 2 years of age can also use the spray immunization method only if they have no breathing problems or asthma.

How many doses of the flu vaccine do babies need?

Children between 6 months and 8 years of age should be given 2 doses of vaccine a year. They cannot be administered simultaneously. Doctors argue that the interval of at least 4 weeks should elapse between the first and second vaccines.

Side effects of the flu shot in babies

The specialists closely studied the medical complications that occurred more than 42 days after the immunization and observed that minor adverse events occurred.

  • swelling in the area where the injection was made;

  • sensitivity of the injected area;

  • nausea;

  • vomiting;

  • in rare cases, local pain or fatigue.

Babies immunized by nasal spray may exhibit side effects such as:

  • colds;

  • small breathing problems;

  • headache;

  • vomiting;

  • muscle pain;

  • fever.

Usually, these side effects are mild and of short duration, without causing serious health problems. Doctors claim that they are far less dangerous than the flu that babies could contract without this vaccine.

Allergic reactions are extremely rare if all vaccine administration rules are adhered to.

Tags Influenza vaccine Influenza vaccine babies Respiratory infections children Respiratory viruses National vaccination schedule