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Understanding the Flu Vaccine - Pediatrics

If you haven’t got your flu shot yet, doctors say now is the time. It protects you from cold-like symptoms, and doctors say in some cases, the flu shot can even save your life. “This immunization will protect against the flu. The flu, some years, takes out 49,000 people,” said Dr. Pierre Loredo, a pediatrician with Lee Health.The flu can be devastating to children, the elderly, and those living with chronic disease. “By getting the flu shot, what it does is you’re helping out with herd immunity, so you’re protecting a lot of people out there,” said Dr. Loredo.Doctors recommend the earlier patients get the vaccine the better. “You’re protecting your body from getting the flu. Also, what you’re doing is if you get the flu the symptoms are not as severe and the duration is not as long,” said Dr. Loredo.The flu virus can cause symptoms like fever, chills, vomiting, runny nose, body aches, and fatigue. Symptoms can kick in 24 hours after you’ve been exposed. If patients get the flu, symptoms can last seven days.“You can’t get the flu from the flu shot,” said Dr. Loredo. But patients, especially children, may experience cold-like symptoms after the vaccine, as their body creates antibodies to build their immune system. Children as young as 6 months old should get the flu vaccine every year. “It’s the best way to protect your child against this illness,” said Dr. Loredo.This year, patients are encouraged to get the flu vaccine instead of the nasal spray. “The nasal flu did not give you as much coverage as the dead virus, which is the shot. So, at this point we do not recommend the nasal flu because it’s not as effective as the shots,” said Dr. Loredo.The flu shot is important to keep the entire family healthy this flu season.View More Health Matters video segments at Health in Fort Myers, FL is the largest network of health care facilities in Southwest Florida and is highly respected for its expertise, innovation and quality of care. For more than 100 years, we’ve been providing our community with personalized preventative health services and primary care to highly specialized care services and robotic assisted surgeries. Lee Health - Caring People. Inspiring Care.Visit