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First Day of Fall

by Sue Hubbard, M.D.

This time of year is so invigorating and the weather everywhere is becoming picture perfect. It all makes for a great time to enjoy the outdoors, whether having family dinners on the porch, picnics on the weekend, spending time playing outside and getting exercise as a family.

But for a pediatrician it is also the time of year to think about winter and flu, and to begin annual flu vaccinations. This year it is recommended that all children six months to 18 years receive a flu vaccine. Children under nine years of age who have never received a flu vaccine need to have two doses of vaccine separated by at least four weeks, and all other children receive a single dose.

There are two options for children older than two: the injectable flu vaccine or the live attenuated flumist intranasal vaccine. There are some restrictions to intranasal vaccine (children with asthma, immuno-suppressed children) but for many children the idea of sniffing a vaccine is far better than a SHOT. The upside of the nasal vaccine is also that it seems to be more effective. Either way, start thinking about getting on your doctors schedule to get vaccinated before the winter and influenza hits. In the meantime, enjoy fall!

That’s your daily dose, we’ll chat tomorrow!

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