PUBLIC RELEASE DATE: 11-Oct-2004
FACT SHEET: Texas Children's Hospital specialists say immunization can ease effects of flu season
Flu immunization recommendations for children
Doctors advise that healthy children 6 months to 24 months old and their household contacts receive flu immunization.
Flu immunization can be given by a standard shot, using an injection of inactivated flu virus strains, or by nose drops, using a live, but weakened, mix of flu virus strains.
The flu shot can be given to children as young as 6 months old. Although more expensive, flu nose drops can be used to prevent the flu in children who are 5 years of age or older.
Flu immunization is strongly urged for children 6 months of age and older with any of the following risk factors:
Children who live in a household with elderly people should be immunized.
- Asthma or any other chronic pulmonary disease (such as cystic fibrosis)
- Cardiac disease
- Immunodeficiency diseases, which require immunosuppressant therapy (steroids, cancer drugs, chemotherapy)
- Sickle cell anemia or any other hemoglobin disorder
- Diseases requiring long-term aspirin therapy (such as rheumatoid arthritis, Kawasaki disease or chronic kidney dysfunction)
- Chronic metabolic disease, including diabetes
Immunization age and dosage recommendations The optimal time to receive the flu vaccine is in October or November; however, flu
vaccine may be given as early as September.
Children 6 months to 35 months old who are receiving a flu immunization for the first time should receive two doses at least one month apart. If possible, the second dose should be given before December. The same recommendation applies to children 3 to 8 years old.
After the age of 9 years, only one dose is recommended.
Texas Children's Hospital Texas Children's is the primary pediatric teaching hospital for Baylor College of Medicine.
The nonprofit Texas Children's Hospital, licensed for 697 beds, is the largest children's hospital in the United States and offers more than 40 pediatric subspecialties.
The hospital is ranked No. 4 among pediatric hospitals nationwide by Child magazine, and No. 4 by U.S. News & World Report.
The nonprofit Texas Children's Hospital, celebrating 50 years,
is the largest children's hospital in the United States.