November 3, 2016

Vote Good Health: Preventive Care – Had Your Flu Shot Yet? Have Your Children?

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This season check the box for preventive care. According to the Centers for Disease control, the single best way to protect your children against the flu is to get them vaccinated. Dr. Charles Sawyer, Mission Health’s Chief Medical Information Officer says parents need to pay special attention to new guidelines.

  • Everyone over the age of six months should get the 2016-2017 vaccination
  • Additionally, children aged 6 months through 8 years who are getting vaccinated for the first time and those who have gotten one dose of vaccine should get two doses this season. The first dose should be given now. The second dose should be given at least 28 days after the first dose.
  • All children who have previously gotten two doses of vaccine (at any time) only need one dose of vaccine this season.

The CDC explains the first dose “primes” the immune system, while the second dose provides immune protection. Children who only get one dose but need two doses can have reduced or no protection from a single dose of flu vaccine.

  • If your child needs the two doses, you should get started now. This will ensure that your child is protected before influenza starts circulating in your community.
  • Be sure to get your child a second dose if he or she needs one. It usually takes about two weeks after the second dose for protection to begin.

What about children under 6 months? The best way to protect them is to make sure the people around them are vaccinated

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