Flu season is here, but you still have time to protect your kids from this potentially deadly virus. The American Academy of Pediatrics has released updated recommendations for the flu vaccine.
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Flu strains change yearly
Susan Rehm, MD, who treats infectious diseases at Cleveland Clinic, says this year’s vaccine is tailored to fight what health officials believe will be the three most active strains. “Two of the three components are different this year than they were last year,” Dr. Rehm says.
Everyone 6 months and up needs vaccine
The changing flu strains are why it’s even more important that everyone 6 months of age and older — from infants to the elderly — get the yearly influenza vaccine, she says.
Pregnant women need special protection
It is particularly important that pregnant women be vaccinated. “Pregnant women are prone to more severe cases of flu, so they need the protection the vaccine can provide,” says Dr. Rehm.
“In addition, we know that pregnant women who get vaccinated against the flu have healthier babies. They also pass on their antibodies to the newborn.”
Find the complete study in the journal Pediatrics.
Live in the Cleveland area and need a flu shot? Access our 2012 Cleveland Clinic Flu Clinic Schedule
CDC Parents Guide to Flu
Preventive Care: A Checklist for Women