While COVID-19 is still at the top of all our minds, another infectious respiratory illness lurks around the corner. Influenza, or flu, is beginning its season shortly and typically does not end until May. Alzein Pediatrics is here to explain why getting vaccinated against the flu is vital to protect your family’s health this fall, winter and spring.
Influenza and COVID-19 are caused by different viruses but their symptoms can be very similar. The flu can be mild with symptoms including:
- Sore throat
- Runny or stuffy nose
- Possible fever
- Muscle or body aches
- Vomiting and diarrhea, usually in children
However, even healthy children and adults can develop serious, life-threatening complications, such as pneumonia, inflammation of the heart, brain or muscles, or lung, kidney or other organ failures. If your child has asthma or a heart condition, the flu can make these chronic conditions much worse.
Like the coronavirus, some children may be barely affected by the flu, but can easily spread the virus to at-risk family members, friends and in public spaces. Each and every year, getting your child vaccinated against the flu helps to build our community’s herd immunity and to protect fragile neighbors and loved ones.
This year, experts agree that people can be infected with the flu and COVID-19 at the same time, complicating treatment and therapies for recovery. Having the flu will likely weaken a patient’s immune system, making it easier for them to contract COVID-19. Because of a reluctance to seek medical care in these times coupled with the rapid effects of the flu, children could be seriously ill before seeing a physician, making their condition worse, making recovery more difficult and raising the risk of long-term complications. The CDC is urging everyone who is medically able, including all children over 6 months of age, to be vaccinated against the flu.
The flu vaccine will not protect your child against COVID-19, but it will help protect them against the flu and serious complications. Last year’s flu shot is no longer protecting your child, so a new flu shot, formulated to battle this year’s most likely viruses, is necessary.
Alzein Pediatrics is here to help your family easily and safely get vaccinated against the flu. When the flu vaccine is shipped to our office, you’ll receive an email or see posts on our social media accounts announcing its arrival. We’ll also include information about making an appointment, or taking advantage of our quick and convenient drive-thru flu shot clinics to vaccinate your entire family.
Questions about the COVID-19 or flu shot? Our telehealth visits are perfect for conversations about your child’s health and many follow up visits. Call 708-424-7600 to make an in-person or virtual appointment. Alzein Pediatrics is here to help!