The flu season has begun! Yesterday we saw a little boy with our first case of Influenza A & B (yes…that would be the same boy!)of the 2016-2017 season. He’s feeling really lousy and will likely be recovering at home for at least a week.

At today’s team meeting we challenged ourselves to come up with a TOP 10 list for why every child over the age of 6 months should get a flu vaccine.

We didn’t include the fact that influenza is a leading cause of vaccine-preventable deaths in US children (National Vital Statistics Reports (Deaths: Final Data), 2004-2013) even though that’s pretty compelling all by itself.

We didn’t include the fact that 62% of children who died as a result of flu in the 2015-2016 season were otherwise healthy with no underlying conditions (Influenza-Associated Pediatric Mortality. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website).

We didn’t include the fact that flu is a serious contagious disease that causes illness and related hospitalizations every year in the United States.

Some parents sometimes tell me that we’re all going to die of something so the fact that flu can cause death or serious illness is not motivation enough for them to decide to protect their children from the flu.

So how about the Weiss Pediatric Care Team’s Top 10 List? We hope that amongst our reasons, you’ll find at least one that causes you to call and make an appointment to protect your child today.

  1. The flu vaccine can reduce doctor, emergency room, and hospital visits – which take time away from other things you’d rather be doing AND result in higher medical bills.
  2. The flu vaccine can reduce missed work and school days.
  3. The flu vaccine can keep your child on the sports field, rather than side-lined with illness.
  4. The flu vaccine can save you the cost of expensive medications for treating and managing symptoms associated with the flu.
  5. The flu vaccine protects those around you – babies and immuno-compromised children and adults who can’t get the vaccine –from exposure to the flu.
  6. The flu vaccine can protect you when you’re traveling during the upcoming holiday season when exposure to germs increases.
  7. The flu vaccine can prevent the need for Tamiflu and other anti-viral medications which often don’t work to minimize symptoms associated with the flu and can actually make you sicker.
  8. The flu vaccine protects against influenza for up to 12 months.
  9. The flu vaccine is not a live vaccine, which means it can’t make you sick!
  10. The flu vaccine, like all of our vaccines, is mercury free!

Our entire team has received the flu vaccine and all of our family members have too. It takes about 2 weeks for protection to develop after vaccination so please join us in protecting your child. Call today to make an appointment.  Flu Clinic hours are Tuesdays from 4-5:30 pm and Thursdays from 8-9:30 am.

To learn what’s true about the flu and what’s not, take the CDC’s Flu IQ interactive quiz.