Parents.TV's Juli Auclair talks to experts about the myths surrounding flu shots.
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Juli Auclair: Flu season is in full swing now peaking in January and running to the end of May, so if you haven't done it already you may want to consider getting a flu shot for your child. I headed to the pediatrician with my two kids and talk to their doctor about some of the myths surrounding flu shots. Most kids absolutely dread getting a flu shot and mine are no exception. Male Speaker: So I'm talking about the patients or what, take a deep breath and what you're going to do remember, this you're going to, you can, I know-- Juli Auclair: So while it may not be the most pleasant visit to the doctor's office for us or kids. Pediatrician doctor Eunhee Shih says it's important that children from 6 months to 19 years of age are vaccinated. This year the Centers for Disease Control changed its recommendation for who should get flu shots. Dr. Eunhee Shih: By vaccinating the children just, but regardless of their age and also protects their family and everyone in the community as well. Female Speaker: Hey Emily come on in. Female Speaker: Some parents are worried if they're getting flu shot will give their kids the flu. Dr. Eunhee Shih: There are two types of vaccines that are available; one is the injection, the trivalent inactivated vaccine and it's not a live vaccine, so cannot cause the illness and the other which is the spray is an attenuated virus and therefore cannot cause the infection as well. Female Speaker: All right, we are going to give it right there, okay. It's going to hurt just a little bit and then it will be all over. Female Speaker: Now the shot isn't foolproof though, your child can't still get the flu even though he has been vaccinated if a new strain of the flu appears after the vaccine is made and sent out. Dr. Eunhee Shih: By being vaccinated two things will happen. One is that if you are exposed to flu, you may be able to fight it off faster and better, so you'll have a less severe illness with a shorter duration and also because your immune system is apparently might not show up with these symptoms of the flu. Female Speaker: Another big concern is whether flu shots exposed kids to high levels of mercury. Dr. Eunhee Shih: Absolutely not, they believe we get more mercury through our diet from fish than we would through any of our vaccines. Female Speaker: Here we go, done. Female Speaker: Always check with your pediatrician first though because the flu shot isn't for everybody. Dr. Eunhee Shih: The people who cannot or people who would be has severe allergic reaction to eggs or during the time that the vaccine would be given they would have moderate to severe illness, people who have reactive airway disease or asthma, people who have chronic lung conditions, heart conditions, diabetes, or kidney conditions. Female Speaker: Think about your favorite thing in the whole world is that your costume. Juli Auclair: It's done, it's done. Male Speaker: It's done baby, that's it. Juli Auclair: That wasn't so bad. Only anticipation is definitely the worst part for my daughter, but she did say it wasn't as bad as she thought it would be. Now remember it takes about two weeks for the shots to provide immunity, so the sooner the better, if it's the first time your child is getting a flu shot and he is between 6 months and 9 years old, he'll need two doses of the vaccine, one month apart. Thanks for watching parents TV, we'll see you next time.