Information from the Healthy Child Care Pennsylvania ECELS Program
The influenza (flu) virus is common and unpredictable. It can cause serious complications, even in healthy children. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports 136 influenza-related pediatric deaths for 2018-2019. The 2018–2019 influenza season was the longest-lasting season reported in the United States in the past ten years. Certain people are more at risk for serious flu-related complications. These include:
The influenza vaccine is on the recommended Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) schedule and is recommended for children 6 months of age and older in child care.
The flu vaccine helps reduce serious illness and deaths that occur every year from influenza. For the 2019-20 flu season, the national American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) advises that any licensed, recommended, age-appropriate vaccine available can be administered. Flu mist is an approved form of the vaccine for this season. Some children may need two doses of flu vaccine. Get flu vaccine as soon as it is available for the current season.
Flu Vaccine for Child Care Staff Educators and staff can help reduce the spread of respiratory illnesses like flu and colds. In addition, adult flu vaccination protects vulnerable young children in child care programs. Infants less than 6 months of age are too young to get the flu vaccine. It is especially important for everyone who comes in contact with infants to get flu vaccine. This will help protect babies from exposure to the virus.
Many people say they have had the flu when they had an uncomfortable respiratory illness. However, short, mild-to-moderate illnesses are most often caused by other seasonal viruses. Usually, influenza causes a severe and long-lasting illness.
Link to the CDC website: Information for Schools & Childcare Providers to find information about preventing the flu as well as materials and tools for early care and education (ECE) programs and schools. Promote full participation in this year’s immunization effort for children and staff in your ECE program:
Why vaccinate? Find out more in an Interactive Vaccine Guide.