Vaccine Types

Influenza

What is it?

Influenza, or the flu, is a serious illness caused by the influenza virus. It is spread through sneezes and coughs that send germs into the air and infect healthy children.

Why is it important?

Flu is especially serious for young children. Each year an average of 20,000 children under age five are hospitalized because of flu complications. Some children, including those with chronic health conditions like asthma and diabetes, are especially at risk for serious flu complications. Pregnant women, adults with chronic health conditions and people 65 years and older are also at increased risk of flu. However, even previously healthy children can become seriously ill from seasonal influenza.

While practicing healthy habits such as hand washing and covering your cough are important measures for preventing the spread of illness, the best way to prevent influenza is to get a flu vaccine as soon as it becomes available (usually in October).

To track where flu is occurring in Colorado, the United States and worldwide, and to view school absenteeism reports and previous seasonal flu reports, visit the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment's flu surveillance page.

Vaccine Recommendations

This season, the CDC recommends everyone six months of age and older get the 2013-2014 flu vaccine, which will protect against the three influenza viruses that research indicates will be most common during the season. This includes an influenza A (H1N1) virus, an influenza A (H3N2) virus, and an influenza B virus. Some vaccines will also include an additional influenza B virus.

Children may need two doses of influenza vaccine. Your child’s health care provider can tell you whether two doses are recommended for your child. The 2012-2013 influenza vaccine is available in a shot and a nasal spray (ages 2-49 years).

It is also highly recommend that people who care for or live with others who are at high risk (i.e. infants, the elderly, pregnant women, and individuals with certain illnesses) get vaccinated annually to reduce the chance of spreading flu to their family, patients or community.

Side Effects

Serious problems from influenza vaccine are very rare. In a study of more than 250,000 children under age 18, the investigators did not identify risk for any clinically important serious reactions from the inactivated (shot) influenza vaccine. The viruses in the nasal spray vaccine have been greatly weakened, and the viruses in the influenza shot have been killed, so you cannot get influenza from these vaccines.

Influenza vaccines can cause mild problems. These include:

  • Soreness, redness, or swelling where the shot was given
  • Sore throat
  • Hoarseness, sore or red eyes, cough, itchiness
  • Fever
  • Aches

If these problems occur, they usually begin soon after the vaccine and last 1 to 2 days.

Influenza

Influenza

Influenza (flu) is a highly contagious viral upper respiratory illness. Flu may be complicated by other risk factors, including pneumonia. [+] more
Hepatitis B

Hepatitis B

Hepatitis B virus (HBV) affects the liver and is primarily spread through blood and bodily fluids. Acute HBV infection can lead to chronic HBV and liver damage. [+] more
Polio

Polio

Poliomyselitis (polio) is an extremely contagious viral infection that affects the nerve cells of the brain stem and spinal cord and can lead to paralysis. [+] more
Diphtheria

Diphtheria

Diphtheria is a bacterial respiratory illness that causes a thick covering in the back of the throat, leading to breathing problems, paralysis, or heart failure. [+] more
Rotavirus

Rotavirus

Rotavirus is a viral infection of the digestive track, and is the most common cause of severe diarrhea and vomiting in infants and young children. [+] more
Pneumococcal

Pneumococcal

Pneumococcal bacteria live in noses and throats of people of all ages. Pneumococcus can infect the middle ear, sinuses, lungs, central nervous system and bloodstream. [+] more
Measles

Measles

Measles is a highly contagious viral respiratory infection that causes a total-body skin rash and flu-like symptoms. [+] more
Mumps

Mumps

Mumps is a highly contagious viral infection that can affect many parts of the body. The hallmark sign of mumps is swelling of the salivary glands. [+] more
Rubella

Rubella

Rubella (German measles) is a contagious viral disease that can cause fever, rash, swollen glands and arthritis. Infection during pregnancy can lead to birth defects. [+] more
Tetanus

Tetanus

Tetanus (Lockjaw) is a bacterial infection that affects the nervous system and causes painful tightening of the muscles all over the body. It is spread through contact with contaminated surfaces. [+] more
Pertussis (Whooping Cough)

Pertussis (Whooping Cough)

Pertussis (Whooping Cough) is a highly contagious bacterial respiratory disease. Pertussis causes violent coughing spells that make it hard to eat, drink or breathe, and is especially severe in young infants. [+] more
Chickenpox

Chickenpox

Varicella (Chickenpox) is a highly contagious viral infection characterized by a blistering rash that can cover the entire body. Complications include skin infections, pneumonia and brain swelling. [+] more
Hepatitis A

Hepatitis A

Hepatitis A (HAV) virus attacks the liver, and is spread through stool of an infected person by direct contact or by contaminated food or drink. [+] more
Meningococcal

Meningococcal

Meningococcal disease is a severe bacterial infection that causes inflammation of the membranes covering the brain and spinal cord (bacterial meningitis) and blood poisoning (septicemia), and requires immediate medical attention. [+] more
Hib

Hib

Haemophilus influenza type b (Hib) bacterium can infect a child’s skin, joints, bones and ears. Hib can lead to a variety of infections including pneumonia, bacteremia, and meningitis. [+] more
HPV

HPV

Human Papillomavirus (HPV) is the most common sexually transmitted virus in the United States. About 40 types of HPV can infect the genital areas of males and females. A few types can lead to cervical and other cancers. [+] more

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