It’s that time again, folks. Time to get your child vaccinated against the flu? Why? With all that sniffling, sneezing and sharing of space and materials in the classroom, your child is even more prone to infection. And who wants to be sick during the holidays?

Influenza season is unpredictable. It can begin as early as October and can continue through May. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that all people 6 months and older be vaccinated against the flu.

That means you, too, parents. Especially those considered “high risk,” including those with asthma, diabetes or chronic lung disease; pregnant women; people 65 years and older; and those who live with or care for others who are high risk of developing serious complications.

We say, “Why risk it?” when the (CDC) estimates that 35 to 50 million Americans, or approximately 25 percent of the population, come down with the flu each year.

Why vaccinate every year?

A flu vaccine is needed every year because flu viruses are constantly changing, and annual flu vaccines are formulated to keep up. Getting vaccinated each year provides the best protection.

What does the vaccine prevent?

Flu vaccines are designed to protect against three influenza viruses that experts predict will be the most common this season, including influenza B viruses, influenza A (H1N1) viruses, and influenza A (H3N2) viruses.

Classic symptoms

The flu can produce a high-grade fever, up to 104 F (40 C), chills, muscle aches, headaches, sore throat, dry cough, and just plain feeling sick. These symptoms usually last for three to four days, but cough and tiredness may linger for one to two weeks after the fever has gone away.

In younger children

Influenza may resemble other respiratory tract infections, such as croup, bronchitis or pneumonia. Abdominal pain, vomiting, and diarrhea are not uncommon. A small child may also have a high temperature and be irritable – who can blame them!

To schedule a flu vaccine

Call Eugene Pediatrics at 541-484-5437 today to schedule your child’s flu vaccine. Flu shots for adults can be obtained at Lane County Public Health Department, area drug stores and doctor’s offices.