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Offered by Brighton Pediatrics

Because influenza viruses change rapidly, each year there will be different recommendations as well as a different flu vaccine. This year the nasal spray vaccine does not cover the current circulating viruses. Only the “Flu Shot” is recommended for 2016-17.

Influenza viruses are not the same germs that cause colds, “stomach flu” or other viral respiratory illnesses. These other respiratory illnesses also cause fever, cough and sore throats but rarely cause hospitalizations or death. Influenza, a more serious illness can cause these. The symptoms can be similar which adds to the confusion about influenza. People especially at risk for hospitalization or death are those over 65 years of age, children under 2 years of age and those with chronic medical problems such as asthma or diabetes.

There are many viruses which cause respiratory illnesses during the winter season. The flu vaccine does not prevent a person from becoming sick with these other viruses. It only helps with the influenza viruses.

People say, “I got the flu vaccine and got sick.” It is unlikely they had influenza, but yes, they certainly could get sick from any of the other respiratory viruses.

The “flu vaccine” cannot cause a person to get influenza. The viruses are altered by technological methods so that they cannot produce the disease itself.

Infants under 6 months of age cannot be vaccinated against influenza. The best way to protect these infants is for all family members and caregivers to be vaccinated against influenza.

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Brighton Pediatrics