Some children may need a second flu shot

Some children may need a second flu shot
Source: KFDA
Source: KFDA

AMARILLO, TX (KFDA) - As the flu continues to be unrelenting in pediatric cases throughout the state, the CDC wants parents to consider getting a second flu shot for their children.

"Six months and beyond that and older should be vaccinated," said Dr. Amir Shokr, emergency physician at Neighbors Emergency Center in Amarillo. "And preferably in two doses at least four weeks apart."

Information from the CDC says children from six months to eight years of age who are getting vaccinated for the first time, and children who have only ever received one dosage prior should receive a second dose.

The first dosage bolsters the immune system for the second dose which provides immune protection.

"With pediatric age groups when you get influenza their immune system will be weakened by the influenza virus and that will make them vulnerable to bacterial infections," said Dr. Shokr.

The CDC reports the flu is to blame for the death of 84 children during this brutal season.

Seven of those children were in Texas - with the most recent out of Houston, where officials said influenza B partnered with underlying health issues was the cause.

"Actually those cases are those who are admitted and had complications or deaths, basically pneumonia and gastritis or dehydration," said Dr. Shokr.

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No matter the patient population, doctors believe getting a second flu shot isn't harmful.

"Though we are in the peak flu season, vaccinations are still advisable because it's not too late to prevent further deaths from happening," said Dr. Shokr.

Children aren't the only ones who should get another dosage of the vaccine.

Anyone over 65 with underlying health issues who received their shot in August or September of 2017 is also a candidate.

To find out where you can get a vaccine, check out this CDC locator.

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