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FAQs for ‘Flu

Frequently Asked Questions About the Seasonal Flu Vaccine

Who should get the influenza vaccine?

The influenza vaccine is recommended for everyone 6 months of age and older.

How long does it take for the vaccine to protect my child and how long does it last?

It takes up to 2 weeks for protection to develop from the seasonal vaccine, and lasts for about a year.

When should we get the influenza vaccine?

Influenza can occur at any time, but most cases occur November through May. Recently, most infections have occurred in January and February. In most cases, getting vaccinated in December, or even later, will still be beneficial. If your child needs 2 doses of the seasonal vaccine, begin the process early so they are protected before the influenza starts circulating in your community.

How many doses does my child have to get?

Children under 9 years of age who have never received an influenza vaccine require 2 doses. If a child under 9 years of age was immunized for the first time last season and only received one dose, he/she requires two doses this season. There needs to be 4 weeks in between the first and second dose.

Why does my child have to get the influenza vaccine every year?

The influenza vaccine is given every year because the strains of influenza viruses that circulate each year are different. Influenza is unique in its ability to change and these changes mean that people naturally infected or immunized one year might not be protected the next year.