Some Children Receiving Two Flu Shots

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. – Your doctor may have recommended you get a flu shot this year. but have you ever heard of getting two flu shots in one season?

It’s been a particularly concerning year for the flu in the United States. It has doctors in Sioux Falls on high alert as well, like doctor Aaron Zylstra from Sanford.

“There have been roughly 80 plus deaths already this year for pediatric patients and that’s as many as we see often in an entire season,” said Zylstra.

When it comes to getting not one but two flu shots in one season, this typically only applies to children age eight and under.

“The basic theory is that you have to live through some flu to have the flu vaccine be most effective,” said Zylstra. “When you’re young, you haven’t lived through many flu seasons, and so we boost your immunity.”

For these children, Dr. Zylstra recommends getting the two shots spaced four weeks apart.

“So if you get one in October and you wait until January, you may not be fully immunized until after that January dose,” said Zylstra.

Although this special flu shot regime applies primarily to young children, people 65 and older should also be aware of flu risks.

“Generally there are some higher dose vaccines for some older people but other than that, they still shouldn’t need two.” said Zylstra.

While doctors are still giving some young patients two flu shots, the flu shot also hasn’t a great track record this year.

”It’s a little worse of a flu in general, and it’s a little harder to have a vaccine work really well for,” said Zylstra.

Doctors are also ready to roll out a flu nasal mist in fall of 2018. It hasn’t been around for the past few years because it wasn’t as effective at fighting off the H1N1 strains, but it’s expected to be an alternative to a needle flu shot later this year.

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