You visit your pediatrician for most issues related to your 6-year-old daughter’s health. Why wouldn’t you turn to the provider who knows her medical history best when it’s time to prepare for flu season?

The best place for your child to receive the flu vaccine is her pediatrician’s office, often called a “medical home.”

“Your pediatrician knows your child’s vaccination history and whether she’s at high risk for flu-related complications, which would make vaccination even more important,” says Katherine Kreusser, MD, a community pediatrician with Children’s Clinic. “You can count on the care and safety standards at your child’s medical home.”

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends all children ages 6 months and older receive the flu vaccine. If your child is hesitant about shots, ask your pediatrician about the nasal spray flu vaccine. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently recommended that children ages 2 to 8 receive it, rather than the shot, because there’s evidence the nasal spray offers better protection against the virus for those ages. Children with asthma and those younger than age 2 aren’t candidates for nasal spray vaccination.    

The flu vaccine may arrive at pediatricians’ offices as early as August—call your pediatrician for information about availability. If your child needs a medical home, call the St. Louis Children’s Hospital Answer Line at 314.454.KIDS (5437) or toll-free at 800.678.KIDS.


Expert Advice