Parenting always comes with a major responsibility of keeping children safe. As a parent we are not only responsible for bringing them up as good human beings but also responsible for raising a healthy child. This cannot be seen as duty, rather it comes out of parental love and impulse to keep the kids safe from physical harm and diseases.
In the growing years, it is necessary to keep an eye on the child’s growth. Also important is strong immunity. That’s why doctors ask about any kind of symptoms and other health conditions during regular visits.
Immunity in children is another area of concern. Children easily contract infections from elders and can pass on the infection to senior citizens. Since we are already battling a pandemic for which we have the vaccination drive ongoing, here’s what my doctor told me about flu vaccines.
Influenza can lead to dangerous complications and children in the age group of 6 months to 8 years are especially vulnerable. The elderly too are at a risk. Keeping them all safe is a priority and the best way to be protected is to get the flu shot.
The flu has symptoms similar to common cold. Battling flu along with covid-19 is a disastrous situation, which is why the doctors, on flu vaccines in India stress that the flu shot should be taken during the monsoons as India falls in the SH region.
When the pandemic hit us, it took some time before a vaccine was available. However, that is not the case with flu since we already have the vaccine handy. It is just that people need to be made aware of the importance of administering the shots, as well as educated about the right vaccine and the time when they should take it. The flu shot is crucial for 360° protection.
Best time to get your flu shot
The WHO has recommended that the Southern Hemisphere (SH) vaccine is the ideal vaccine for India. Influenza vaccination is most effective when local circulating viruses are well-matched with vaccine antigens for SH. Since the peak season of flu in the larger part of the country starts between mid-summer to monsoons, now is the right time to vaccinate against flu for effective protection.
Flu vaccine should be taken annually. However, getting vaccinated early for subsequent seasons is likely to be associated with reduced protection against flu infection later in the flu season, particularly among older adults says CDC. Protection fades over time, so not getting vaccinated with the vaccine containing the right seasonal strains may leave one more vulnerable. Vaccination can be done throughout the SH flu season, into September or later.
We did see a lot of pediatric cases during the second wave of covid-19, so it is much needed for us as parents to keep ourselves updated on the vaccine schedules for the kids. For diseases like influenza, it is very much a necessity that the entire family is vaccinated. The responsibility lies with us parents to make all the members of the family aware of the consequences and therefore as a proactive measure it is a must to take the flu shot.
Do remember if the adults in the family have recently taken the covid vaccine, there can be a gap of 14 days before they take the flu shot.
Though maintaining good hygiene is a great way to keep away from flu, getting vaccinated gives you an upper hand to prevent getting infected.
CDC recommends getting the flu vaccine, which will help in reducing the additional burden to the healthcare services who strive to keep our population safe.
AS per CDC, below are the benefits of the flu vaccine:
- Flu vaccination helps you to keep away from becoming sick due to flu.
- Flu-associated hospitalization is greatly reduced for kids and adults when the flu vaccine is administered.
- The flu vaccination could be an important preventive tool for adults with chronic illnesses.
- Women during and after pregnancy are protected if the flu vaccine is taken.
- Reduction in severity of illnesses is proved by various studies wherein people who got infected in spite of taking the flu vaccine.
- When you get vaccinated you are not only protecting yourself but also people around you.
Let us not skip or postpone vaccinations just because we are all grounded in our homes. Talk to your doctor, get the flu shot and stay healthy!
We must #PreventWhatCanBePrevented because flu is preventable with vaccination.