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October 28, 2019

The Latest Flu Vaccine Information for Parents

Image result for flu shot toddler
With the flu season fast approaching, it’s a good idea to get your kids—and yourself—prepared for the winter by getting flu shots as soon as they’re made available.

But if your kids have been getting their annual flu vaccine through the popular nasal spray option, there’s some news: it won’t be available in Canada this year.

The nasal flu vaccine, which first became available in Canada in 2015, won’t be offered this flu season due to a shortage of an active ingredient. While AstraZeneca announced the anticipated shortage in April, it wasn’t until early this month that Health Canada confirmed that the nasal vaccine, FluMist, wouldn’t be available for this flu season.

Ian Gemmill, a former medical officer of health and a public health consultant in Kingston, Ont., stresses that it’s essential that all kids get their flu shots, and especially if they’re young. “Kids under the age of five suffer more hospitalization from influenza than any other age group,” says Gemmill.

Don’t let your kid’s fear of needles hold you back. “Most kids don’t like needles, but it’s important they get vaccinated,” says Gemmill. If you’re looking for ways to get your kid through their shots without much fuss, distraction works well, whether you use toys, silly songs, or anything else that makes them pay less attention to their doctor. 

“[Influenza] can make your holidays quite miserable,” says Gemmill. “If you could reduce that risk in half by getting the flu shot, then why not?”

What Else Can You Do To Prevent the Flu? 

Besides the flu vaccine, good hygiene practices and staying home when ill also help prevent transmission of the common cold and all the other respiratory illnesses that circulate this time of year. This includes:

– Lots of hand washing
– Teaching kids to cover their mouths when they cough or sneeze
– Keeping kids out of school or daycare when illness strikes

– Staying home from work if you are ill

Remember that, for those with a healthy immune system, influenza means a few uncomfortable days in bed with a fever, aches and pains and a bad cough. But for others, it can be deadly. “Influenza is a serious disease,” says Sikora. “[In 2015], it put 1,600 people in hospital in Alberta and over 60 people died.” 

“We suggest everyone take the opportunity to be immunized, not just for yourself,” Sikora says. “It really helps keep your whole family healthy—young and old.”

At Discovery Point Nursery and Academy, we want to ensure the health and safety of all our children in our daycare. If you have any questions about our sick child policy, feel free to contact us



Discovery Point Nursery and Academy, daycare in Woodbridge, Vaughan, Ontario.