Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"Should my child get a swine flu shot?"
The swine flu isn't in the news anymore, but is it still a danger?
The swine flu virus is also called the H1N1 virus. The decision about whether your child should get the swine flu vaccine depends on a few factors. The flu vaccine is typically not given to children that are less than 6 months of age. After 6 months, it is generally recommended. You are correct that the H1N1 virus is not being passed around like it was in 2009. Thus the risk of getting this particular strain of virus is quite low right now. However, that does not mean that it will not make a come back someday. Since getting the vaccine now may protect you against future H1N1 pandemics, the vaccine may not be a bad idea. I suggest that you schedule an appointment for your child with his or her pediatrician. The two of you can discuss the risks of getting the H1N1 virus and what the potential consequences are if your child were to be infected. From there, you can make a decision about whether or not you child will get the shot. Even though we are not seeing many cases of H1N1 right now, the benefits of the vaccine will likely outweigh the risks. No matter what you decide on this vaccine, you child should get the seasonal flu shot next October as long as he or she is the proper age.
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