Of course the influenza vaccine, more commonly known as the flu shot, protects against the flu, but did you know it can protect against pneumonia too? According to new guidelines from the Pediatric Infectious Diseases Society and the Infectious Diseases Society of America, the best way to protect children from pneumonia, which can be life-threatening, is to have them get their annual flu shot. This recommendation applies to all children 6 months and older, as well as caregivers of babies younger than 6 months.
Plus: Our Complete Guide to Vaccines
Each year, more than 2 million kids worldwide under age 5 die from pneumonia. The illness, which can be viral or bacterial, is usually caused by a virus in children, and generally runs its course. But the more serious type, bacterial, can be difficult to treat in children. The new guidelines, the first of their kind, also spell out protocol for diagnosis and most effective treatment options.
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Are your kids getting a flu shot this year?