Flu doctor guide: doctor reveals everything anxious parents need to know about children who are vaccinated in winter
- A doctor will explain everything you need to know about children who get a flu shot
- Dr. Preeya Alexander has been bombarded with questions leading up to the flu season
- The government recommends that everyone over six months of age get the flu shot every year
- Read more about how you can help people affected by COVID
An Australian doctor has explained everything you need to know about children who get the flu shot in the winter – as health authorities fear an outbreak of influenza could burden hospitals already flooded with coronavirus patients.
Dr. Preeya Alexander, a GP from Melbourne, has been bombarded with questions from anxious parents in the run-up to the flu season.
My child has an egg allergy – can they still have the flu shot? Can the flu shot give me the flu? What if my child gets a flu shot for the first time under the age of nine? These are just some of the questions she answers.
Dr. Preeya Alexander (photo) has explained everything you need to know about children who get the flu in winter
The primary care physician – who publishes medical insight on her Instagram The Wholesome Doctor – recommended that if a child under nine years old is vaccinated for the first time in their life, they need two doses of the injection for the same flu season.
At least four weeks apart – this is to ensure that the correct immune response is triggered. After the first year, only one dose per year is needed, “said Dr. Alexander.
Dr. Alexander said that children and adults with an allergy to eggs can be safely vaccinated against the flu.
The flu vaccine is grown in eggs, but the traces of egg protein left after the vaccine is made are extremely small. The Ministry of Health says it is very rare for people with an egg allergy to experience adverse effects such as hives, wheezing, vomiting, or abnormal pain after getting the flu shot.
A common misconception that Dr. Alexander addressed was whether getting the flu shot can give you the flu.
“The flu vaccine doesn’t give you the flu – it’s not a live vaccine, it contains an inactivated virus, so it can’t give you the flu,” she said.
“You may get pain or a mild fever after the vaccine, but it’s short-lived and not the flu.”
In the run-up to the flu season, the Melbourne GP was bombarded with questions from anxious parents
The Australian government recommends that everyone over six months of age get the flu every year.
Dr. Alexander said the best time to get the annual flu shot in Australia is in April – no sooner or later – and it will take three to four months for effectiveness to wane.
The flu vaccine should ideally be given annually prior to the flu season – if you choose to do it. The vaccine and strains it includes vary from year to year, and its effectiveness decreases after three to four months, ‘she said.
“Any child over the age of six months can receive the flu vaccine as long as it is not allergic to the vaccine or any ingredient.”
In Australia, children under the age of five and over the age of six months can receive a government-funded vaccine so that parents don’t have to pay for it.
All Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people older than six months are also eligible for a government-funded vaccine.
For children over five, parents have to pay for it privately, which usually costs around $ 20.
“Children in this age group are at an increased risk for influenza complications such as pneumonia and therefore it is strongly recommended to reduce the risk of influenza with the vaccine,” she said.
Children older than five who have a chronic medical condition, such as asthma or diabetes, are eligible for a government-funded vaccine.
What you need to know about the flu vaccine and COVID-19
The flu vaccine does not protect against coronavirus
The aim is to avoid two significant viral diseases (influenza and COVID-19) at the same time
Influenza is still a serious viral illness – pneumonia, sepsis, and death are complications. COVID-19 is also a viral disease (caused by another virus) – it seems to be more deadly and there is no vaccine yet
The flu vaccine can be given to anyone (without an allergic reaction) aged six months and older
In Australia, certain groups are government funded (children 6 months to 5 years old, people with chronic medical conditions such as (but not limited to) asthma / diabetes, people over 65 years old, all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people older than 6 months) and all pregnant women)
The vaccine is normally ideally given from April to the peak of the flu season (July / August) – vaccine effectiveness decreases after 3 to 4 months
High-risk groups may consider an in-season booster dose if necessary (I did this last year as a pregnant asthmatic woman who works in general practice)
Inventory can be hard to come by – if you don’t fit into a government-funded group, it will cost about $ 20
You need the vaccine annually – the vaccine changes annually to try to cover the strains that are likely to dominate in the community
The flu vaccine will not protect you from COVID-19, but a reduction in flu infections will help ease the pressure on the medical system
Source: The Wholesome Doctor