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Forum Name: Miscellaneous Chest Diseases

Question: Do my daughter and I need the flu vaccine?


 hattawaya - Sun Nov 01, 2009 1:45 pm

My daughter (9 yrs old) and I have had the flu this season. Do we still need to get a flu shot this year?
 John Kenyon, CNA - Wed Dec 09, 2009 10:03 pm

User avatar Hi there -- This is a difficult question. Even if your doctor told you specifically you each had had the flu, and the symptoms and clinical picture all fit, you still may not have had the flu du jour, and sometimes virulent viral infections can mimic influenza and not be influenza. You could be tested for the specific antibodies, but that hardly seems worthwhile. Neither of you are in a high-risk group for the annual influenza variant -- although H1N1 is an entirely different matter -- so getting the regular flu shot wouldn't do any harm and still might prevent you both from getting the flu going around this year. On the other hand, since you're not in a high risk group anyway, it may be worth the roughly 40/60 gamble and just skip the shot this year. It's strictly a personal decision, and if you're not very young (infant, toddler) or "elderly" (a vague definition now generally considered to be over 65, and neither of you have a chronic disease or condition, you'd likely be pretty safe in passing on the vaccine this year. If you want to make certain you don't have the flu experience twice this year (assuming what you both has was just some other random virus) then getting the shot won't do any harm.

Hope this helps. Good luck to you.

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