All people 6 months and older should get the flu vaccine each year. The 2012–2013 seasonal flu vaccine will protect against three flu viruses this year, including the 2009 H1N1 virus. The vaccine comes in shot and nasal mist form. The shot is called "inactivated" and the nasal mist is called "live, attenuated intranasal (LAIV)." Not all people can choose which form to get, and both forms are not always available at vaccine sites. To learn more about the forms and who can get each kind, read the Vaccine Information Statements from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) or ask your child's doctor.
- See your child's doctor or nurse to get the flu vaccine.
- Public Health – Seattle and King County has free flu vaccination clinics for all people over 6 months of age without health insurance or who are otherwise unable to pay for vaccination.
- If you still need help finding flu vaccine, call the Family Health Hotline (English and Spanish) at 800-322-2588.
2012–2013 seasonal flu vaccine
It can be confusing to know how many doses of flu vaccine your child needs. Many situations are covered in the statements below, but if your child's situation is different, or if you have any questions, ask your child's healthcare provider or consult this guide.
For Current Patients and Families
How do I get a flu shot?
You should ask your primary care provider about how to get a flu shot. Or, use this tool to find flu vaccine near you:
Can we get flu shots at Children’s?
Patients may be able to get a flu shot during their scheduled appointment at Children's.
Do you have the nasal mist form of the flu vaccine?
To get the nasal mist form of flu vaccine, you must meet the health and age requirements.
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.
- Remind children to keep their hands away from their face to avoid touching their eyes, nose or mouth.
- Clean shared spaces often, including phone receivers, keyboards, steering wheels and office equipment.
- 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: January 18, 2013