As we continue living in the vast shadow of COVID-19, you may be wondering if a flu shot is as necessary this year as usual. Many kids are not returning to a traditional classroom environment, and most extracurricular activities are on hold.
Your pediatricians would like to remind you that a flu vaccine is recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and by the American Academy of Pediatrics each year for patients ages 6 months and up, and this year is no exception.
While most children do not suffer from serious complications of COVID-19, they are susceptible to symptoms caused by influenza. Illnesses like asthma can make the flu more dangerous.
“Both COVID-19 and influenza are coronaviruses, so they target the upper respiratory system and cause fevers,” reminds Dr. Maurice Allgeier at All Star Pediatrics. “When the body’s immune response is fighting a virus, it’s more vulnerable to other illnesses. We don’t want to see our patients getting the flu and COVID-19 at the same time. They could become very sick and challenging to treat.”
We have not yet experienced a peak flu season as our medical professionals continue battling COVID-19. By getting a flu shot for every appropriate family member, you’re also doing your part to ease the burden on hospitals. Many children visit the emergency room each year for flu complications, and there’s always a risk of exposure to additional illnesses.
If your child is due for an annual well visit, this is a convenient time to get a flu shot as well. Otherwise, you can make a brief vaccine-only appointment. We know you have options regarding where to get a flu shot for your kids, but your doctor’s office is continuing to adhere to strict sanitizing and safety protocols to provide the safest environment.
For more information on prevention during the 2020-2021 flu season, visit https://www.cdc.gov/flu/prevent/index.html