The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is recommending vaccinating everyone from the ages of 6 months old to seniors. A flu shot will cost you approximately $6 per child. Medi-Cal for children and Medicare Part B will be accepted, and it will take about two weeks for the vaccine to take effect.
CDC Director, Dr. Tom Frieden, said, “The best way to protect yourself against the flu is to get a flu vaccination.” A recent report from his organisation said the flu kills around 24,000 Americans each year, but less than half of the population gets an annual flu shot.”
The vaccination is especially important for children, and the government hopes to increase on last year’s percentages, which had over 70% of children under five years receiving the jab. The CDC hopes that by getting more parents to vaccinate their children, there will be less hospitalizations of children.
The number of vaccinated dropped when it comes to school age children. Only 55% were vaccinated last year and with the school term beginning, now is a good time to get it done. Dr. Paul Offit of the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia said, “Parents need to realize that flu vaccine is crucial even for otherwise healthy children. At least 100 U.S. children died of flu last year, only half of whom had lung conditions or other illnesses that put them at high risk and most of whom weren’t vaccinated.”
There is another option for children between 2-8 years old for the first time this year. The Ouchless FluMist Nasal Spray is an alternative option to a shot, and research shows it is more effective. It’s also a great alternative for kids who are resistant to needles. The CDC doesn’t currently recommend one type of vaccination over the other, but it’s best to take whatever vaccine is available to you if only one type is available in your area.
There are 150 million doses being shipped this year and so far, there’s no sign of a shortage. However, U.S. manufacturers are in the process of improving the vaccine so half of the supply will protect against 3 strains and the other half, 4 strains of influenza. Vaccines may be available at doctors’ offices, health clinics, pharmacies and clinics in the community.
(Photo courtesy of Daniel Paquet)