The flu vaccine is safe for administration in babies and toddlers, reports a major study conducted on the side effects of flu shots.
Two flu seasons back, the federal government proposed immunization for all kids of the age 6 months to 2 years and their family members and caregivers. There was a sharp rise in the number of children getting vaccinated. This proposal was made as flu affects kids under the age of 2 years as often as the old people.
This study proves the safety of flu vaccine in kids of the age 6 - 24 months. The findings have been published in this week's Journal of the American Medical Association.
This study followed the health of over 45,000 kids vaccinated during the period 1991-2003. These children were associated with the Vaccine Safety Datalink, a national database that follows vaccinations given at 8 huge managed care organizations, including Portland-based Kaiser Permanente Northwest.
The scientists used the health record of the kids to conduct a comparative study of problems at three phases: 42 days after vaccination, at a later period and at the time prior to vaccination. Of the 45,000 cases, only 13 cases reported mild nausea and diarrhea.
In the U.S., flu vaccines are now recommended for every kid below the age of 5. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention over 90 children under the age of 5 die every year due to flu.