Each fall, you hear that influenza threatens older adults and folks with chronic ailments.
Most years, it's true that the death rate from the flu peaks in those older than 65, and that the rate of hospital stays is highest in people ages 85 and older. But children younger than 2 years have more severe complications from seasonal influenza and may require hospitalization. According to the CDC, about 20,000 children younger than 5 are hospitalized each year because of flu complications.
According to the CDC, children between ages 6 months and 19 years should be vaccinated annually against seasonal influenza.
The CDC says children younger than 8 who are immunized for the first time should get two full doses of vaccine, one month apart in order to be fully immunized. The CDC does not advise that infants younger than 6 months get the vaccine. A nasal spray vaccine is also available for children older than 2.Learn more about influenza shots for young children ›