Categorized | Opinion

Does my child really need a flu shot?

By John V. Pender, Jr., MD

To my mind, children six months of age and up need a flu shot, unless they are allergic to egg or have had a severe reaction to the flu shot.

A number of years ago during a particularly bad outbreak of flu a mother said that her child received a flu shot and became quite ill.  The mother was quite upset to say the least.  She told me ‘that flu shot made my child really sick’.  I asked her ‘Is he allergic to egg?’.  Her answer was no, no, no. I said it is possible, but it is quite unlikely that the flu shot will make you sick.  As I have heard from others ‘that flu shot gave me the flu’.  Anyway I was called out of the exam room by my nurse, Dr. Pender, can you speak on the phone on line four?  I said, ‘yes’.  This lady preceded to explain that she was the child’s grandmother and she had known me for many years.  Dr. Pender, please don’t tell my daughter-in-law that we did not bring him for a flu shot; because we don’t believe flu shots help.  I answered that I had to tell her, since she is upset with me, the nurse, and everyone in the office.

Personally, the other doctors and myself use the ‘dead flu vaccine’.  Apparently  if you receive the live virus vaccine, you can cause complications in those who may be on immunosuppressant  medicine for various reasons.

I think I probably got a little ‘long winded’ but I think you need to tell it like is really is.  Flu shots do protect you against flu and the vaccine does not give you the flu.

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