All people 6 months and older should get the flu vaccine each year. Some flu vaccines come as a shot and some come as a nasal spray.
Many healthcare providers, including Seattle Children’s, are waiting for a final recommendation from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to decide if they will offer the nasal spray vaccine this fall. On June 22, 2016, a CDC advisory group voted that the nasal spray should not be used in the 2016–2017 season due to concerns that the spray is not as effective as the flu shot. The CDC recommendation is expected to come in August. To learn more, read this blog post or ask your child's doctor.
- See your child's doctor or nurse to get the flu vaccine.
- If you need help finding flu vaccine, call the Family Health Hotline (English and Spanish) at 800-322-2588.
2015–2016 seasonal flu vaccine
Use the statements below to know how many doses of flu vaccine your child needs this year. Ask your child’s healthcare provider if you have any questions.
- Babies younger than 6 months of age are too young to get flu vaccine.
- Children 6 months through age 8 getting flu vaccine for the first time need to receive 2 doses. The second dose should be given 4 weeks after the first dose.
- Children 6 months through age 8 who have received fewer than 2 doses of flu vaccine before July 1, 2015, need 2 doses. The second dose should be given 4 weeks after the first dose.
- Children 6 months through age 8 who received 2 or more doses of flu vaccine before July 1, 2015, only need 1 dose.
- Children age 9 and older only need 1 dose of flu vaccine this year.
For Current Patients and Families
Learn More About Flu Vaccinations
Prevent the Spread of Flu
- Wash your own and your child’s hands often with soap and warm water. Alcohol-based hand cleansers also work. Children should sing their ABCs twice in a row while washing their hands to ensure the proper length of time.
- Avoid people who are sick.
- People with the flu should stay home from work or school. They should stay home while they are sick and for at least one day after they no longer have a fever, without the use of fever-reducing medicines.
- Cover noses and mouths when coughing or sneezing: use tissue or the crook of your elbow when you cough or sneeze and throw the tissue away in a covered trash bin.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands. Remind children to keep their hands away from their face to avoid touching their eyes, nose or mouth.
- Clean surfaces often, including toys, doorknobs, phone receivers, keyboards and tables.
- Avoid sharing personal items such as forks, spoons, toothbrushes and towels.
- The single best way to prevent the flu is to get the vaccine.
Information updated: June 23, 2016