Flu (Influenza) Vaccines for Children
Updated September 2018
FluMist®, FluLaval Tetra®, Fluzone® Quadrivalent
The virus is spread by droplets when talking, sneezing or coughing. The infection can spread before symptoms appear. Flu viruses can live on surfaces for hours, so touching infected door knobs and shared toys can also spread infection.
Young children, seniors, persons with a weak immune system and those with heart, lung and other diseases can get very sick from a flu infection and be hospitalized. The risk of getting Guillain-Barré Syndrome following flu infection is much higher than flu vaccination.
The vaccine is about 50 per cent effective in healthy individuals to protect from a flu illness. How well the vaccine works, depends on how well the vaccine strains match with what is circulating. The vaccine can provide some cross-protection even when the match is not exact.
Choose the Vaccine for Your Child
- Flu vaccine by injection, for children ages six to 23 months old
- Flu vaccine by injection or as a nasal spray, for children ages two to 17 years
Both vaccines work well and will protect against four strains of the flu virus. The vaccine given as a nasal spray is a live, weakened vaccine. Children under 9 years, getting their first flu vaccine ever, need a second dose at least four weeks after the first dose.
|Flu vaccine given by injection||Flu vaccine given as a nasal spray|
|Common side effects are:
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|Delay vaccination if:
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|Not for children with:
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Severe Side Effects
Severe Side Effects such as allergic (anaphylactic) reactions: trouble breathing, rash, swelling of the face and throat are rare and can be treated. The risk of Oculo-Respiratory Syndrome or Guillain-Barré Syndrome after vaccination is very low, about one case in a million flu shots.
Both vaccines are not for children with previous Guillain-Barré Syndrome within six weeks of a flu vaccination. Speak with your doctor first, if your child has a history of Oculo-Respiratory Syndrome.
Talk to your health care provider or call our Immunization line at 416-392-1250.