Recent Updates to Media Guidelines

Summarized By: Rayyan Anwer, MD, FAAP (Full references listed below)


It’s that time of year again― influenza (flu) season is almost here! Many people don’t realize it, but flu can be a very serious illness. It causes thousands of deaths in the United States every year, even among previously healthy children. With COVID-19 expected to still be spreading this fall and winter, it is even more important to protect your child from viruses like influenza.

As a parent, the best thing you can do to protect your children from the flu is to get them vaccinated before influenza starts circulating in your community. All children age 6 months and older get their influenza vaccine by the end of October or sooner. Everyone around your children should be vaccinated, too.

What types of influenza vaccines are available?
For the 2021-2022 influenza season, there are two types of influenza vaccines available. The first is what many people call the “flu shot.” The second comes as a nasal spray. All the vaccines available for children this year contain 4 influenza viruses (two A and two B viruses).

Should I get the shot or nasal spray for my child this year?
Both the AAP and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) want as many children as possible to get a flu vaccine every year. The AAP recommends that any licensed vaccine available this year and appropriate for a child’s age and health status be given to children, with no preference. Both types of available flu vaccine (flu shot or nasal spray) can be given according to their indications, with no preference, for the 2021-2022 flu season.

Can my child get a flu vaccine and the COVID-19 vaccine at the same time?
If your child is eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine, it can be given at the same time as the flu vaccine, or at any time one after the other. Talk with your pediatrician about your child getting the flu vaccine along with other recommended immunizations.

What do we know about influenza circulating with COVID-19?
Last flu season was unusual, with physical distancing, mask-wearing, hand hygiene and other steps to prevent the spread of COVID-19 possibly doing the same for flu. However, flu and COVID-19 are predicted to spread at the same time this winter. Getting a flu shot will help protect your child from one of these viruses.

If my child tested positive for COVID-19, should they get a flu shot?
Children with COVID-19 can still get a flu vaccine after they have recovered from their COVID-19 illness. Keep in mind that symptoms such as a stuffy and runny nose can make it hard to give the nasal spray vaccine.



July 2021