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HHS HealthBeat (January 27, 2014)

Kids versus flu

From the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, I’m Ira Dreyfuss with HHS HealthBeat.

There’s still lots of time left in this flu season, so there’s still lots of time left for kids to get the flu – unless they’re vaccinated. Children have a higher risk of serious complications from the flu, especially if they are younger than 2 years old. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends flu vaccination for everyone 6 months of age and older.

For most people, including many kids, one dose is all that’s needed. But CDC flu expert Dr. Anne Schuchat notes an exception:

“Some children younger than 9 years of age need two doses of flu vaccine – if it’s their first year getting vaccinated. The first dose primes the immune system; the second dose is a booster. If you are unsure about what your child needs, talk to their doctor or nurse.”

Learn more at flu.gov.

HHS HealthBeat is a production of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. I’m Ira Dreyfuss.

Last revised: January 27, 2014