Flu vaccine's protection from dangerous complications

Pediatrician Lawrence Ross, MD Infectious Disease, Children's Hospital Los Angeles, discusses the pros and cons of children being vaccinated for the flu and how the benefits far outweigh the possible disadvantages
The Pros And Cons Of Giving Children The Flu Vaccine
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Flu vaccine's protection from dangerous complications

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The pros and cons of the flu vaccine are extremely important to consider when you are deciding if your child should have the vaccine or not. The pros are that you have the best chance of preventing influenza and all of its terrible complications in your child and in your family by getting everyone immunized. And these complications include pneumonia, brain swelling and death. Remember that when we have our epidemics of influenza around the world, which occur periodically, as many as 50 million people directly from this. During our recent epidemics in the last several years, we have recognized many deaths in our children and many of these would be preventable if they had received the vaccine. So those are the pros. The cons are whether or not there are side effects from the vaccine. And I always tell people yeah, it hurts. If you get the vaccine injected, it hurts a little bit and you may have a stiff shoulder. You do not get influenza from it. You do not get brain damage from it. It does not cause flu. There is a preparation that we can give the vaccine by the nose and that is as effective. Sometimes children do not like the taste of it or they get a little bit of sore throat from it, but the safety of it is very, very good. In terms of other cons, I cannot think of any.

Pediatrician Lawrence Ross, MD Infectious Disease, Children's Hospital Los Angeles, discusses the pros and cons of children being vaccinated for the flu and how the benefits far outweigh the possible disadvantages

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Lawrence Ross, MD

Pediatrician, Infectious Disease, Children's Hospital Los Angeles

Dr. Lawrence A. Ross is a pediatrician and expert in infectious diseases.  He has been a full-time member of the Division of Infectious Disease at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles since 1978 and has served as Hospital Infection Control Officer as well as the Chairperson of the Infection Control Committee for 20 years.  He is also a Professor of Clinical Pediatrics at the Keck School of Medicine at the University of Southern California.  Dr. Ross graduated from the University of Illinois and subsequently attended medical school at the Chicago Medical School in Chicago. He completed residency training in Pediatrics at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, followed by fellowships in Pediatric Infectious Diseases at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles and the Los Angeles County/University of Southern California School of Medicine. From 1981-1985, Dr. Ross served as the coordinator of the intern and residency program at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. His areas of interest have included epidemiology of nosocomial infections as well as clinical aspects of care for patients with immune compromising diseases including patients with HIV infection. 

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