Every fall Jefferson Pediatrics participates in one of the most important and effective disease prevention programs at our disposal, the influenza immunization program. The flu is a significant respiratory illness that comes every year, beginning in December or January, and lasting into March or April. The flu virus is notorious for changing itself from year to year, and there can be more than one strain in the community in a given year.
It is now recommended that all children beginning at 6 months of age receive the flu vaccine. If there is a child under 6 months of age in the house, ALL household contacts of the child should receive the vaccine, including visitors. Infants under 1 year of age are especially susceptible to the virus, and if infected are much more likely to need hospitalization. This year there is a major improvement in the vaccine. It now covers four different strains of the influenza virus. In addition, we are again offering the nasal immunization for children over 2 years of age who do not have chronic respiratory illnesses, such as asthma or on aspirin therapy.