Per a December 28, 2017 American Academy of Pediatrics(AAP) alert, “Flu activity is increasing in the United States. There have already been 8 pediatric deaths from influenza reported. Vaccination is the most important step anyone can take to protect themselves and their loved ones against influenza and its complications. It takes about two weeks after vaccination for immunity to develop in the body that protects against influenza infection.”
Children younger than 5 years of age, especially children younger than 2, are at an increased risk of hospitalization and complications due to influenza. Therefore, the AAP and CDC recommend that all children 6 months and older receive a flu vaccine each year. Pregnant women should also receive the influenza vaccine at any time during their pregnancy to protect themselves as well as their young infants during the first 6 months of life.
Since the flu vaccine isn’t 100% effective, it’s important to take precautions to decrease the risk of infection. These measure include frequent hand washing with soap and water and avoidance of crowds.
Two other recent articles related to vaccines worth reading are “Why Vaccines Matter in the November 2017 edition of National Geographic magazine” and “Simply Put: Vaccination Saves Lives in the Autumn 2017 edition of Emory Health Digest.
Here’s to a Happy and Healthy 2018!