Flu Vaccine FAQs

Children’s Community Pediatrics (CCP), in accordance with the CDC, recommends that all children ages six months and older receive the flu vaccine this season. This helps protect your children and those around them from becoming infected. Flu shots are provided to our patients on a first-come, first-served basis so contact your office for more information today.

To learn more about the flu vaccine, read our frequently asked questions below.

About the Flu Vaccine

Why should people get vaccinated against the flu?

Influenza is a serious disease that can lead to hospitalization and sometimes even death. Every flu season is different, and influenza infections can affect people differently, but millions of people get the flu every year. Even healthy people can get very sick from the flu and spread it to others. During flu season – typically October through May, flu viruses circulate at higher levels in the United States. An annual seasonal flu vaccine is the best way to reduce your risk of getting sick with seasonal flu and spreading it to others. When more people get vaccinated against the flu, less flu can spread through that community.

How do flu vaccines work?

Flu vaccines cause antibodies to develop in the body about two weeks after vaccination. These antibodies provide protection against infection with the viruses that are in the vaccine. The seasonal flu vaccine protects against the influenza viruses that research indicates will be most common during the upcoming season.

Who should get vaccinated this season?

Everyone 6 months of age and older should get a flu vaccine every season.

Why do I need a flu vaccine every year?

A flu vaccine is needed every season for two reasons. First, the body’s immune response from vaccination declines over time, so an annual vaccine is needed for optimal protection. Second, because flu viruses are constantly changing, the formulation of the flu vaccine is reviewed each year and sometimes updated to keep up with changing flu viruses. For the best protection, everyone 6 months and older should get vaccinated annually.

Does flu vaccine work right away?

No. It takes about two weeks after vaccination for antibodies to develop in the body and provide protection against influenza virus infection. That’s why it’s better to get vaccinated early in the fall, before the flu season really gets under way.

About the Flu Mist

Why is FluMist no longer available?

The CDC advisory committee that conducted the research found that FluMist, compared to the injectable vaccine, performed poorly against fighting the flu.

Who made up the committee and what was the research?

Research that contributed to this decision was led by PittVax, a University of Pittsburgh-based research group that studies the effectiveness of annual flu vaccines. After being awarded a $5.5 million grant from the CDC, they recently completed a 5 year study including nearly 500 local children and their families, enrolled primarily by Pediatric PittNet, the University of Pittsburgh CTSI pediatric practice-based research network. Their studies included a series of approximately 6,500 tests that analyzed the effectiveness of flu vaccines. The result was the recommendation to discontinue the current formulation of nasal spray flu vaccine. PittVax was recently awarded funding to continue this research for the next five years. The research team thanks all participating children, families and practices for supporting this important work. Visit www.pedspittnet.pitt.edu for more information about the network.

Is the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) following the CDC’s recommendation?

Yes. The AAP president has stated that they support the CDC’s decision. They recommend health care providers use the injectable shot this upcoming flu season.

Is CCP following the CDC’s recommendation?

Yes. CCP closely follows the recommendations of the AAP and the CDC. We will no longer be administering FluMist.

Since FluMist will no longer be available, will there be enough vaccines this upcoming flu season?

The CDC is already working closely with manufacturers to make sure the vaccine supply will meet the demand. CCP is in a good position to supply the flu vaccine to our patients this season.

Is it safe for my child to get a flu shot?

Yes. Even though FluMist is no longer recommended, the age recommendations have not changed. The CDC and AAP still recommend that everyone 6 months of age or older should receive a season flu vaccine.