A JAB AT FLU?
Babies and children can have the flu vaccine from six months of age and it is recommended, particularly if they have risk factors such as chronic illnesses, says Dr Melinda Suchard of the Centre for Vaccines and Immunology at the NICD. “If they have other diseases for which they are on medications, you should first talk to their doctor,” she says.
The benefits? Avoiding this illness will prevent discomfort for your child and save you having to take time off work to look after her. “Vaccinating your child will also help protect family at home who are more vulnerable and may not be able to have the vaccine or may not have a good response to the vaccine, such as elderly grandparents,” says Dr Allison Glass, a specialist virologist at Lancet laboratories. The vaccine will protect your child against the most recent flu strains, but not other respiratory infections. If you are breastfeeding and you have the flu vaccine, the antibodies will pass through to your baby, says Sister Ingrid Groenewald, a registered nurse and private midwife.