Is it too early to start talking about the flu vaccine? The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) doesn’t think so.
The AAP recommends that all children aged 6 months and older be vaccinated for influenza this fall, as vaccines remain the best way to prevent severe illness and keep kids in classrooms. Children may receive the intranasal live attenuated influenza vaccine or the inactivated influenza vaccine via intramuscular injection according to the release. In addition, children may be vaccinated for flu and COVID-19 at the same time.
And outgoing chief White House medical adviser Anthony Fauci has repeatedly warned that the U.S. should expect a “pretty bad flu season” this year.
Speaking with Bloomberg Law, Fauci noted that a more severe flu season has already been observed in the Southern Hemisphere, which encounters new annual flu strains sooner than the Northern Hemisphere. “We should be prepared for that superimposed upon what I hope is the residual and not another spike of COVID,” Fauci said.
Dr. Michael Zuckman at White Plains Hospital Medical & Wellness in Armonk recommends that people receive their annual flu shot "as early in the season as possible." While the shot can take up to two weeks to take effect, "The earlier it is given, the longer the potential period of protection from infection and spread of illness," he says.
The flu vaccine, together with normal precautions like frequent washing of hands, covering your coughs and sneezes, and not going to work or school when ill, can help to keep all of us healthier over the coming months.