CLEVELAND - Flu season may still be a month or two away, but the time to prepare is now. The American Academy of Pediatrics is releasing updated recommendations for flu vaccine.
Dr. Susan Rehm did not help put together the recommendations but treats infectious diseases at the Cleveland Clinic. She says this year's vaccine has been tailored to combat, what health officials believe, will be the three most active strains.
"Two of the three components are different this year than they were last year. That increases the importance of making sure that everyone, 6 months of age and older, gets influenza vaccine this year and every year," said Dr. Rehm.
The AAP recommends all children 6 months of age and older be vaccinated. Special efforts should be made to vaccinate children who have chronic medical conditions like asthma, diabetes, immuno-suppression, or neurologic disorders. These conditions can increase the child's risk of flu complications.
The recommendations also include family members and others who are in contact with newborns, children with high-risk conditions and children under 5.
Dr. Rehm says pregnant women should be vaccinated, too.
"Not only are women more vulnerable to influenza complications during pregnancy, but their babies may be affected by the flu. And we know that pregnant women that get vaccinated for the flu have healthier babies. They also pass on their antibodies to the newborn,” said Dr. Rehm.
Complete findings for this study are in the journal "Pediatrics ."
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