- Flu can be life threatening. Children younger than 5, and especially kids younger than 2 are at a higher risk of complications from flu.
- Children of any age with long term health conditions, including developmental disabilities, are at a higher risk of serious problems from flu.
- Children with neurologic conditions, and kids who have trouble with lung function, difficulty coughing, swallowing or clearing their airways can have serious complications from flu.
- Pregnant women can have consequences from flu that include miscarriage, preterm labor, premature birth or giving birth to a baby with a low birthweight. It’s safe to get a flu shot any time during pregnancy.
- Babies can’t get their own flu shot until they are at least 6 months of age. This is another reason why women should get a flu shot during pregnancy. The protection will pass to the baby when she is born.
- Since babies are at risk until they’re vaccinated, protect them by making sure the people around them are vaccinated – all caretakers, family members and relatives.
- Adults older than age 65 (grandparents!) can suffer serious consequences from the flu.
- You don’t get the flu from the flu shot. It is made up of inactivated (dead) flu virus. You may experience soreness at the injection site, have a headache, aches or a fever but these symptoms should go away within a day or two. The flu lasts much longer and is more severe.
- Aside from barricading yourself in a room all winter long (?!) the best way to protect yourself from flu is to get vaccinated.
- This year, the flu vaccines have been updated to better match circulating viruses. There are also different options available, including one for people with egg allergies. Your healthcare provider can advise you.
So, what are you waiting for? Go get protected!
Here’s more info about people at high risk of developing flu-related complications and answers to frequently asked questions can be found here.