Doctor: Children can get flu shot starting at 6 months old

Published: Oct. 26, 2018 at 10:17 PM MDT
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According to a pediatrician with St. Luke's, more than 100 kids died from the flu last year nationwide. Doctors are urging parents to vaccinate their kids.

Pediatrician Katie Quayle, with St. Luke's, recommends the flu shot for infants six months and older.

"The younger kids are, the scarier the flu can be for them. They're more likely to be in the hospital or get really sick from it," she said.

She said that kids under the age of five are at a higher risk to get sick from the virus.

"Studies have shown that really young kids or kids less than five or kids with heart or lung problems or who have asthma or diabetes are really likely to get sick from it," she said.

Health officials are not yet sure how effective the shot is this year.

"Some early studies have shown that it'll hopefully be more effective than the flu shot was last year," she said.

Sometimes after getting the shot, it's possible that the someone can get the flu. However, those who did get the shot and then got sick were better off than those who didn't.

"They were less likely to be hospitalized or get pneumonia or those kinds of things, so I definitely recommend it," she said.

There are two options on how a child can get vaccinated. The shot, which Quayle said the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends, or a nasal spray.

"It just goes up your nose. In the past, it's been less effective than the shot, but it is an option this year," she said.

Quayle said kids under the age of eight who have never been vaccinated need to get two doses of the flu shot.

"Like a booster, so that’s why it’s best to start super early," she said.

If a child does get sick from the flu, she said to just give them fluids and normal medication along with some rest.