A JAB AT FLU?

Your Baby & Toddler - - THE DOSSIER -

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.

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