What Parents Need To Know About The New Flu Vaccine

What Parents Need To Know About The New Flu Vaccine

New Flu VaccineScientists have made some great strides in creating vaccines for the 2013-2014 flu season.  They are putting great effort into making the vaccine more effective with fewer allergy restrictions.  And no wonder.

The pediatric death rate for the flu last season was quite high:  160 children under 18 died as opposed to only 35 the year before.  With 69 of those kids having no underlying medical conditions, it’s a little shocking that so many healthy kids so suddenly passed from the flu.  Not only that, but over 20,000 children were hospitalized, many under the age of 5.

So this year’s vaccines will have some different and better features so that more people will have the opportunity to get vaccinated and will be better protected.


Cool Feature #1

The newest vaccines will protect against four strains of the flu rather than three.  While past vaccines contain two influenza A strains, one B strain, an H1N1 strain, and an H3N2 strain, the new one will contain a second B strain.


What’s The Big Deal?

Influenza A is the most dangerous type of strain.  Affecting both animals and humans, this is the kind that is responsible for the epidemics.  H1N1 and H3N2 fall into the A strain category as well as stronger versions of the "normal" flu.

Influenza B is only found in humans.  Although it does not create epidemics like A strains, it can be very dangerous, particularly in the very young and elderly.

So now there will be more protection from a second B strain.  This is especially interesting for those who have young children, as this could be a strain easily passed from child to child in a preschool or daycare setting.


Here’s The Catch

The vaccines with the four strains are still in the works and aren’t available quite yet.  They will be soon, but there will still not be enough produced for everyone to get the four-strain vaccination.    Read more...


Photo courtesy of Sura Nualpradid on freedigitalphotos.net


Related Posts

Why Every Last Mother & Child Needs a Flu Shot

This is National Influenza Vaccination Week, and Every Child by Two and Families Fighting Flu are working hard to ensure that families, parents, and individuals are exposed to the most current influenza immunization information, the specific trends of this flu season, and the facts about influenza vaccines for children, pregnant women, and health care workers.   Read more >

This Winter's Flu: The Worst in 10 Years

I used to pooh-pooh the flu as no big deal. But this year, I’m very glad I had the gumption to trek to my local Rite Aid and wait patiently for my shot. Experts at the Centers for Disease Control are saying this could be the worst influenza outbreakthey’ve seen in the past 10 years. According to the latest reports, more than 2,200 people have been hospitalized since October, and 18 children have died. In Boston, they’ve declared a state of emergency due to a tenfold increase in influenza cases. One hospital in Pennsylvania was forced to pitch tents to handle the glut of patients.   Read more >

Why Everyone Should Get a Flu Shot

After a week or so, my daughter recovered and resumed life as usual. It sure is interesting how a brief brush with an unpredictable disease can change your perspective. The unspoken fear that we faced last year has faded into a childhood memory for Marissa. Surprisingly, it appears that public memory has been short-lived as well — which troubles me as a mom of five active kids.   Read more >


In order to comment on BlogHer.com, you'll need to be logged in. You'll be given the option to log in or create an account when you publish your comment. If you do not log in or create an account, your comment will not be displayed.