New Flu Vaccine Okay For Kids - - The News for South Mississippi


New Flu Vaccine Okay For Kids

Children are required to get vaccines to prevent polio and measles, but now there is a new immunization for parents to consider. The State Health Department officials say this is the first year a flu vaccine made specifically for young children has been available.

Many people know the danger influenza poses to the elderly, but the very young are also at risk.

John Campbell would rather face a needle than relive the misery that comes with having the flu.

"I had the flu back when I was a child and it wasn't a very good experience," said 53 year old Campbell. "I don't want to take the chance."

If all goes well, Micah Sanders and her older sister Joelle's childhoods won't include such an ordeal. Health care providers are administering new versions of the flu vaccine. One is for children as young as six months.

Dr. Bob Travnicek of the State Health Department said "[children] have a greater risk of going in the hospital and a greater risk of developing pneumonia. We are now recognizing that they are not quite, but almost, at the same risk as elderly."

Dr. Travnicek says the American Academy of Pediatrics may add the flu shot to children's list of recommended routine vaccinations.

For now, Joelle and Micah's mother believes the shot is what could keep her children healthy.

"Yes. Why not?" said Anna Lynn Sanders. " I mean if the vaccine is safe then better safe than sorry."

Memorial Hospital health care nurses gave out the flu shots in Long Beach on Thursday. Since the children's vaccinations program began, 150 children have been given flu shots.

by Danielle Thomas

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