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About the Flu

Flu Vaccination Information and Other Ways to Prevent Flu

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Flu Vaccinations

All people 6 months and older should get the flu vaccine each year. This year, one version of the seasonal flu vaccine will protect against three flu viruses, including the 2009 H1N1 virus. Another version of the seasonal flu vaccine will protect against those three viruses, as well as an additional influenza B virus. Get either one of the vaccines for your family as soon as you are able.

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.
  • If you need help finding flu vaccine, call the Family Health Hotline (English and Spanish) at 800-322-2588.

2013–2014 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.

  • Find the statement below that is true for your child.
    • If your child is younger than 9 and is being vaccinated for flu for the first time in their life, they need to receive 2 doses. The second dose should be given 4 weeks after the first dose.
    • If your child is younger than 9 and they have received 2 or more doses of flu vaccine since July 1, 2010, then only 1 dose of 2013–2014 flu vaccine is needed this year.
    • Babies younger than 6 months of age are too young to get flu vaccine.

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.

Can we get flu shots at Children’s?

Patients and family members who live with patients can get a flu shot. Starting Sept. 16, you can go to our Flu Vaccine Room at the main campus in Seattle

Do you have the nasal mist form of the flu vaccine?

Yes. To get the nasal mist form of flu vaccine, you must meet the health and age requirements.

What flu strains does this year's vaccine protect against

The injection will protect against two influenza A strains and one influenza B strain.

The nasal mist will provide protection against the same three strains, and an additional influenza B strain.

Where do we get our flu shots?

  • Patients staying in the hospital will get a flu shot during their stay if they are eligible. Ask your nurse if you have questions.
  • Patients with a clinic appointment: you should ask your provider during your visit about how to get a flu shot. If you cannot get one in the clinic, you can come to the Flu Vaccine Room (information below) at the main campus in Seattle.
  • Family members and all patients may go to the Flu Vaccine Room (information below) at the main hospital campus in Seattle. You do not need an appointment for the Flu Vaccine Room.

Flu Vaccine Room

Closes: April 2014 (or when we are out of vaccine)
Location: Children’s main hospital campus
Room OB.6.635 (level 6, Ocean zone) 

Park in Ocean and go to an entrance desk. They will direct you to the Flu Vaccine Room, where you will check in.

You do not need an appointment for the Flu Vaccine Room.

Hours, Dates and Closures

Nov. 18 – April (or when we are out of vaccine)
Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, 8 a.m. – 4:15 p.m.
Thursday, 1 – 4:15 p.m.
Closed every day from noon to 12:45 p.m.

How much does it cost to get a flu shot at Children’s?

Anyone younger than 21 is considered a patient and will be billed for flu shots. The cost is $35 and the amount you owe depends on your insurance coverage. Financial assistance is available. Apply online or print an application form (PDF).

Flu shots are free for family members and other adults 21 years and older who live with a patient. We provide this to promote a healthy living environment for our patients.

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 17, 2014


Flu Vaccinations for Children 3:31Expand

Dr. Danielle Zerr discusses the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) updated flu vaccine recommendations for children, and offers parents advice on ways to protect their children from the flu.

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Proper Hand Hygiene 3:12Expand

See how to teach your child proper hand hygiene behaviors. 

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Healthlink: Flu ProtectionExpand

Seattle Children’s Dr. Danielle Zerr discusses a new study suggesting there's a way moms can lower influenza's toll on babies — by getting the shots before they're even born.

Play Video