By: Dr. Douglas Mitchell, General Booth Pediatrics
Did you know where your child gets his flu shot can be just as important as the shot itself?
Getting your child his flu shot at the pediatrician’s office rather than the local pharmacy has its advantages. For one, your pediatrician already knows your child and his immunization record.
Some children, 9 years of age and younger, will need a booster shot after four weeks depending on several factors, including whether they’ve had the flu shot in the past, how many doses they’ve had and when they received it. And your pediatrician has access to your child’s complete immunization record. The local pharmacy won’t have it.
Getting your child’s flu shot at the pediatrician’s office is also a great time for parents to review their child’s medical record and make sure they’re up-to-date on all other immunizations. For teenagers, HPV and meningococcal vaccines are something you may want to discuss with your doctor.
For the little ones, 6 months to 3 years, there are only two brands available. Your pediatrician’s office offers the full range of flu vaccines for all ages. Some pharmacies will not administer the flu vaccine to younger children.
Keep in mind, the nasal flu vaccine is not available this year. The FDA has recommended that it not be given to children. While the safety of the vaccine was never in question, the FDA did find that one of four influenza strains in the vaccine was not effective in preventing influenza infection. Due to the lack of prevention for this one strain, the CDC recommended that all children receive the influenza injection this year.
Lastly, it’s likely the flu vaccine will cost the same or less at your pediatrician’s office.
So while it may seem like a convenient option to have your child vaccinated at the nearest pharmacy, there are many advantages to having your child immunized at his pediatrician’s office. Either way, the best way to protect your children – and yourself – from getting the flu is to get vaccinated each year. Contact your CHKD pediatrician by phone or online to schedule an appointment today.
About CHKD Medical Group
Children’s Hospital of The King’s Daughters has been the region’s most trusted name in pediatric care for more than 50 years. As members of CHKD Health System, our pediatricians work closely with CHKD’s full range of pediatric specialists and surgeons. They also share a commitment to quality, excellence and child-centered care. With 18 practices in 29 locations throughout the region, a CHKD pediatrician is never far.