2014/15 Influenza Season – Flu Shot Information for Parents
The “Flu Shot” season will soon arrive and we are making plans for our annual flu vaccine clinics. Please read below important information about influenza and the flu vaccinations that will be available this year for you, your children, and your family.
1. Who should get the flu vaccine?
With a few exceptions, the influenza vaccine is recommended for everyone over 6 months of age. At the bottom of this email are links to vaccine information sheets from the Center for Disease Control with further information about why it is recommended and the few individuals who should avoid receiving the vaccine.
2. How to get yourselves and your children immunized?
This Flu season, Kindercare Pediatrics will be offering flu vaccine clinics for all children and their first-degree relatives. Please note that the vaccine clinics will not be run as walk-in clinics. Appointments must be scheduled in advance. Call or email to book an appointment that suits you/your family.
3. What types of vaccines are available?
There are two types of flu vaccines available in Canada: the conventional vaccine (needle-injected) and the nasal vaccine (sprayed in the nostrils). The safety profile and effectiveness of both vaccines seem to be equivalent for children over 8 years of age. We are discovering, however, that younger children seem to develop stronger immunity when given the nasal vaccine compared to the needle. The safety profiles (nasal and needle) remain equivalent for these young children. As a result, The CDC has recommended the nasal flu preferentially over the needle vaccine for children 2-8 years old and Health Canada has made a similar recommendation. As in the past, the Ontario Government will cover the cost of immunizing your child with the conventional ‘needle’ vaccine. The government will not cover the cost of the nasal vaccine which is approximately $30.00.
For further information about the two types of available flu vaccines check out these CDC Vaccine Information Handouts for the conventional vaccine and for the nasal vaccine. Here are a few other reliable information sources about the influenza vaccine:
- Ontario Ministry of Health Influenza Information Site
- Center For Disease Control Influenza Information Site
- National Institute For Allergies and Infectious Diseases Influenza Information Site
Yours truly, The Kindercare Pediatrics Team