Children as young as 6 months should receive the flu shot

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DOTHAN, Ala. (WDHN) — While COVID-19 is at the forefront of everyone’s mind, the influenza season traditionally gets underway in late fall or early winter.

During a flu season, the disease can be just as deadly as the coronavirus, especially for the young and elderly.

The CDC recommends everyone from six months and older receive the vaccine, and those with
chronic respiratory and coronary issues are especially encouraged to receive the shot.

“The risk of flu in infants can be higher than in other healthy children,” Eufaula Pediatrics Doctor, Dr. Aubrey Coleman said. “And children who are infected by the flu, there is a risk of hospitalizations, and there is a big risk of secondary infections like pneumonia, ear infections, things like that.”

According to a study conducted by the CDC, the flu vaccination reduced the risk of flu-associated death by 50% among children with underlying health conditions and 65% among healthy children.

This is why Dr. Coleman says the flu shot is so important, as influenza can affect children differently.

“Infants and young children, their airways are a lot smaller than teenagers and young adults,” Dr. Coleman said. “So if those airways get infected by the flu virus, they can get clogged up a lot easier and make it a lot harder for young children to breathe. A lot can have a significant amount of vomiting and diarrhea when they get the flu, so it’s even more important for them to stay hydrated if they do come in contact with the flu.”

Coleman recommends for children get the flu shot as soon as possible. She stresses the earlier the better.

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