The Importance of Flu Vaccines as the COVID Pandemic Continues



The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that all healthy children 6 months and older are vaccinated for influenza this year as the best protection against the flu, especially with COVID-19, flu, respiratory syncytial virus and other respiratory illnesses circulating.

“During the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s important to remember that influenza is also a highly contagious respiratory virus that can cause severe illness and even death in children,” said Flor Munoz, MD, FAAP, lead author of the policy statement and technical report, developed by the AAP Committee on Infectious Diseases. “The flu vaccine is safe, effective, and can be given alongside other routine immunizations and the COVID-19 vaccine.”

The AAP also recommends: Children with acute, moderate or severe COVID-19 should not receive influenza vaccine until they have recovered; children with mild illness may be vaccinated. Children in high-risk groups should receive a vaccine for flu, unless it is contradicted.

The 2019–2020 influenza season was unusual and complicated by the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic in early 2020. Flu activity began early in October 2019, continuing through mid-March 2020, with an abrupt decline after the implementation of physical distancing measures. With children back in school, public health experts are concerned about a resurgence of flu activity this season.

“This year it will be especially important to keep our children healthy, as we’ve seen hospital beds and emergency services fill beyond capacity in communities where transmission of SARS-CoV-2 and other respiratory viruses remains high,” Dr. Munoz said. “This means catching up on all immunizations, including the flu vaccine, and making sure children wash hands frequently, wear masks in school and during indoor group activities, and maintain physical distance from others.”
To schedule an appointment for your child’s flu shot, call us at 407-566-9700.

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January 2022