- Flu Vaccine Information
Staying on Track with Childhood and Adult Immunizations
We all know how those last few weeks of summer go. Summer activities are wrapping up, new sports seasons will begin, families are taking their end-of-summer vacations and back-to-school shopping starts. This time is fun and busy, but there is one incredibly important thing to add to your calendar: vaccinations.
Keeping on track with vaccinations can sometimes feel overwhelming or confusing, but there are a few helpful tips to ensure your family is ready for the year ahead.
- Recommended Schedules: Stay up-to-date on the latest recommendations from the CDC. The CDC’s recommended immunization schedule is safe and effective at protecting your family. The schedule is informed by the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP), which provides advice and guidance to the Director of the CDC regarding the use of vaccines to control vaccine-preventable diseases in the United States.
- Plan Ahead: Once you speak to your healthcare provider about the best schedule for you and your family, think of a game plan. Perhaps have a certain month where you always schedule your immunizations (such as three weeks before back to school, or the week after Labor Day for example). You can even make a day of it – get the family together and offer a ‘reward’ after all the vaccines are done! Maybe a trip to the bookstore, a visit to the ice cream shop, or time at the playground. This can also be helpful for any nervous kiddos, knowing there is something fun at the end of the appointment.
- Prevent Complications: Delaying vaccines could leave your children or loved ones vulnerable to disease when they are most likely to have serious complications. This is why it is so important for everyone to stay on-track with immunizations. If you wait too long, the vaccine may not have enough time to work before you or your child are exposed to illnesses like the flu. Here is a helpful vaccine schedule for reference.
As we have seen in recent years, things are unpredictable. The COVID-19 pandemic showed us just how unpredictable infectious disease can be. Some years planning for flu season can be difficult as well. The 2022-2023 flu season started earlier than usual and both pediatric hospitalizations and mortality rates reached numbers we haven’t seen in years. There were over 160 pediatric flu deaths. In addition, a ‘Tripledemic‘ occurred, with respiratory viruses COVID-19, RSV (Respiratory Syncytial Virus), and the flu hitting hard.
Taking steps ahead of time for disease prevention can make all the difference. Using today’s helpful tips will help provide long-term protection for your family. If everyone receives their vaccines on schedule, that’s one easy item to check off your to-do list! For more information and resources, check out the CDC’s recommendations for infant, childhood, adolescent and adult immunizations.