Flu Vaccine for 7 Month Old?

Updated on November 12, 2010
K.H. asks from Tempe, AZ
15 answers

Hi all... I need some rational opinions on this topic. We're trying to decide whether or not to give the flu vaccine to our 7 month old daughter. We have followed the CDC recommended vaccination schedule so far but are on the fence about this one. I'm not necessarily worried about the safety of the vaccine. However, philosophically, I can't help but think we over medicate and over treat our kids these days. We're terrified of them getting sick that at the first sight of the sniffles, we're dragging them to the doctor for a shot, a pill, and anything in between. A part of me wonders that if I give my kid this shot then I'm buying into that whole system and I'm setting myself up for years of anxiety and neurotic behavior. Neither my husband or I have ever gotten a flu shot and aren't really interested in starting. That being said, I recognize that a baby catches a lot bugs than the average person, especially when she's in daycare like my daughter is. I also know that babies getting sick with the flu can be pretty scary.

I'm torn about this issue. I really don't want to raise my daughter in an environment of germophobia and rush her to a doctor every time she gets ill but I also want to protect her at the same time. Are there other moms who've struggled with this? How did you resolve it? And please, I'm not interested in hearing about how my baby will die if I don't vaccinate her (I've already heard that one) and I also don't want to hear about the autism link (heard that one, too). I'm not into scare tactics, just honest and calm opinions.

Thanks, mommas!

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answers from Norfolk on

Sorry - there are no calm opinions on this topic.
Some of these people did not vaccinate (see influenza section), and some of their children died:
I guess they have the rest of their lives to question whether they did the right thing or not. And yes, sometimes people die no matter what you do to try to prevent it, but at least you can say you TRIED to prevent it.
We're not germophobes. We sometimes play in dirt. We go to mall and touch countless door knobs, handrails, etc. We don't avoid germs, but we protect against the ones most likely to cause death.
We all get flu shots every year.
Everyone dies eventually, but my goal for my family is for each of us to die of advanced old age. There is certainly more than one way to get there. With diseases becoming more and more resistant to antibiotics, prevention becomes critical. Vaccination makes logical sense to me.
Why vaccinate women of child bearing age? Do you think it might be because babies are smaller, weaker, have tiny breathing passages who are more susceptible to difficulties and a mom who's been vaccinated has less of a chance to infect their child or be too sick to care for their child?

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answers from Austin on

I am a former NICU Respiratory Therapist. I have a BS degree in Respiratory Care. I also have three daughters, 14, 5, and 6 months. None of us have ever had a flu shot and none of us have ever had the flu either. I am of the opinon that it does not work that well, and is not neccessary. I think we fill our children with way too many drugs and ultimately that weakens the immune system and also helps to create super bugs. My children are very healthy and rarely get sick. On the other hand my best friend who has children the same age as mine, gets every vaccine they make and rushes her kids to the doctor for antibiotics if they sneeze, and they are sick all the time. Makes you wonder...

There is also a study on www.drtenpenny.com that shows that the flu vaccine does not work in children under the age of 2.


6 moms found this helpful


answers from Boise on

I have done years of medical research and my well read opinion is do NOT vaccinate children with flu and anti cancer anti viral shots. There is too much bacteria, mercury, polysorbate 80 , the virus itself, and all kinds of other crud.

Vaccines SUPPRESS the immune system for quite a bit of time. You've got a healthy child there and you dont want to run out and suppress her immune system- her bodys God given only natural self defense. It's like taking the guns away from the soldiers on the front line!

Did you know that autism has the EXACT same symptoms of mercury poisoning- line for line-?

Google polysorbate 80. See for yourself the heanious effects as well.

Did you know that many vaccines are fertility killers? They make people sterile. Ever wonder why some of these STD vaccines are targeted toward only women of CHILD BEARING YEARS and before? Why would a woman of 19 or 29 be more important to vaccinate that 39 or 49? Because she is the age to be able to have children- that's why.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Albuquerque on

My three kids have never gotten flu shots. We don't get them either. I agree that it's best to boost the immune system, keep healthy, eat right, exercise, take probiotics (your good flora is up to 70 % of your immune system!) and get enough sleep.

We are super healthy. My daughter started preschool this year and other than a few sniffles we have been totally healthy. I think it's so much better to take care of it naturally. And I swear the probiotic thing has made us bug-fighting machines! Since we started taking them we've all been very healthy.

Your little girl hasn't had any bad reactions to vaccines yet, but definitely research the efficacy of flu shots in babies that young and consider that vaccines can suppress the immune system instead of build it up. Lifestyle choices are a powerful way to keep your little one healthy without introducing more chemicals and best guesses into her system. Good luck!

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Albuquerque on

This is a very personal and heated decision. We do not get the flu vaccines. Getting the vaccines assumes
1. it is effective. People have stated here that "we didn't get the vaccine and got the flu." You may get the vaccine and still get the flu. It is not 100% effective and is based on the best guesses of what the flu will be by the time it gets to your area and your house. The flu virus mutates.
2. It is safe. Yes, people do die of the flu. They are usually already immuno-compromised and often did not seek help soon enough. But people also die after getting the vaccine. Perhaps they are also compromised.
3. It is a vaccine made for children or babies that young. I'm not sure if this exists this year. I would try to get it for your child if you decide to get vaccinated. I did read that this is a vaccine that still does, in fact, contain mercury.

And definitely continue breastfeeding. There is nothing better for helping your child through the normal illnesses of childhood. Look into how else you can boost your immune systems this year. THey've found kimchi (lactofermented cabbage, traditional sauerkraut) kills some flu viruses. Make sure you consume real food probiotics. Vitamin D is ESSENTIAL for fighting infections. Research other immune boosters that might help your family, whether or not you get the vaccine.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

Hi K.,
I researched vaccines while pregnant with my oldest (now nearly 3) and was completely freaked out. I opted to boost her immune system naturally instead. This is what I do for her and now for her 7 month old sister...good vitamins for toddler, one flaxseed capsule squeezed into their food every day, a dose of good probiotics (powder form) in their food every day, lots of fruits and vegetables and little sugar. Today I'm hunting down a good Vitamin D3 supplement for them and they will receive that every day as well. Please research these things, they are all healthy ways to boost immune systems without scary, questionable chemicals that you will have to worry about what damage they may be doing to your precious baby. Best of luck with these difficult decisions!
P.S. The probiotics, good vitamins, Vitamin D supplement and flaxseed are also good for mommy and daddy. =)

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Boston on

I will just share my story with dealing with the stinking flu last year. My oldest was 7 (almost 8) last year and he has asthma. The h1n1 vaccine was not available in our area yet and he got it :( He spent days in the hospital hooked up to oxygen and an iv. It was not fun and having another child at home I could not spend every second in the hospital with my oldest. If there is anything I can do to help prevent it I will I do not want to go through that ever again. We all get our flu shots. We also visit my mom and dad a lot and neither one of them can get the flu shot so I have to think of them too. I would not want to spread the flu to them. I don't think getting a flu vaccine buys into what you are talking about. I don't think most people are that terrified of having a sick child that they take them at the first sign of the sniffles. Most people I know take them as a last resort. We go when my oldest needs albuterol more then every 4 hrs because that generally mean he needs orapred, we take our youngest if he has had a cold for over 10 days and all of sudden starts running a fever again because he is prone to sinus and ear infections but other then that we do not go for every sniffle, cough, and fever unless they aren't acting right. Being in daycare so many people drug up their kids and send them to school or daycare ill because they either cannot take the time off from work or don't want to. You do not know what she will be exposed to and I would want to try and help prevent the flu in a baby and even if she gets sick with the flu if she had the vaccine it will not be full blown. The antiviral med used to fight the flu is not approved for children her age so there won't be much you can do if she does get but at least you can help prevent it. High risk groups for the flu includes children under the age of 5.

Edited: someone mentioned mercury you can get it thimerosal free

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Seattle on

I think you answered your own question! You said you want to protect her, so get the shot. You say you don't want to rush her to the doctor every time she gets ill...so don't!
I don't think there is anything wrong with what you are saying, babies DO catch a lot of bugs especially at daycare. I would say that you are a good mom (right?), so get the shot and then watch her the rest of the cold and flu season. If she gets a bug that she just can't shake, off to the drs! But hopefully, if you get the shot, you wont have to worry about it.

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answers from Boca Raton on

My children are 16 & 13 so I am not in your "shoes."

If I had one your child's age I would not do the flu vaccine. That being said, we homeschool and work from home (though my kids were in school for many years).

My children (thankfully) have never received flu shots - they were not recommended for children (not in high risk groups) until somewhat recently.

Whatever you decide - good luck. Parents of little ones today have to make alot of these decisions. It's not easy. Just gather as much reliable information as possible, speak with trusted professionals - and make the best decision you can in the best interest of your child.



answers from Phoenix on

This is a personal decision. I agree there are a lot of shots that we give our kids. My son had 4 flu shots last year (2 regular and 2 H1N1) on top of all the other shots the CDC wants to give them before 18 months.

The first flu shot is a series of 2 given 1 month apart. I did not know that until we got him the shot last year. Your daughter is old enough to have the shot, but it is mid-November. So she will have her first one in Nov/Dec then the second in Dec/Jan. And flu season is 'over' by the end of January to Mid Feb. So, she would only have 1-2 months protection during the height of the season. I know last year the season lasted until March-ish, but it was not nearly as bad a previous years because of the H1N1 scare. I would have recommended getting on for your daughter if it was Sept/Oct time frame, but we are already a couple of months into the season...so...again it is up to you. If your daughter is in daycare/preschool, I would get her one and If you or your husband works with the general public I would still recommend it because you would be exposed to more germs that can potentially make it back to your house.

My advice is to trust your gut, if you want to get it for your daughter then do. If not, make sure all family and visitors have their flu shots to minimize the risk of them being sick when they visit.

Also, if you only get one shot this year it is not as effective as receiving the 2, but it is something. But next year (or whatever year you decide to get her the flu shot) she will have to start with a series of 2. I hope that makes sense.

I am (obviously) pro-vaccine. But I tried to give you what I would have thought about before giving my 7 month old the flu shot.


answers from Oklahoma City on

that is strictly your decision but i would talk to your peditrician to make sure there IS a flu vac for babies....me personally, i did not, and have never given the flu shot to my almost 8 year old daughter, havn't taken it myself, and my family has been just fine.

i agree you don't need to be rushing them into the dr at the slightest sign of an illness for that may trigger becoming a hyprocondriact. my husbands ex wife STILL does that and IS a hyprocondriact with her kids who are now 13 and 14.5. my little monkey (the 13year old) will be climbing in a tree and rash up (obviously just little red marks where the tree scraped up against her-dont' know anyone that doest happen to) and she'll be in tears if we dont' let her get some benedryl, or take her to the dr, she would cry and say it hurts, he would tell her if it hurts stay out of the trees, told her to keep an eye on it with hime and viola....rash gone after an hour or two she got better and finally quit using that like she's been used to.

having said that, i would definatly calm down and give your childs immune system a chance to work.

depending on the severity of the illness, i excercise in my home 3 days, if not better, or getting much worse within 24-48 hrs, then i'll call the dr for the NEXT day to give some time for her body to work.

good luck hun!



answers from Phoenix on

Personally I try to get my flu shot every yr as I'm a high risk( I have asthma really bad) as for my kids ( I have three the youngest being 9 months) I have always gotten them vaccinated. I feel bad the first day ( or the day of) and then I feel fine. Just a little bit of sorenes where the shot is and feeling tired. Personally I think that minor discomfort is worth risking it getting the flu and feeling bad for anywhere from 3 days to a week. What I did with my kids is I talked to their doc and weighed the pros and cons with him and then we decided. He/ she might be for it or against it more
Depending on you personally.



answers from Phoenix on

Out of what has been posted here so far, I like Michelle M's answer the best - vaccinate everyone around her, but not the baby. I think that would be a safe middle road, combined with washing of hands, avoid crowds with her and all that.
We all have always been vaccinated against the flu. My youngest got it aound her 1st birthday for the first time and was fine. I would rather not have to deal with up to 2 weeks of misery for the patient and the rest of the family, if I can avoid it. Though I always had the shot, I got something a few years back that took me out for 3 days and that is all I need to remember to get everyone in for their shot : )
As with everything, if you trust your pediatritian for everything else, get her opinion on this, too, and then go from there.
Hope this helps!



answers from Anchorage on

If she is in day care I would probably get the shot. My son is high risk so I usually skip it for him, but this year he has to get one for his private pre-school, so we are getting the flu zone shot because there is no H1N1 vaccine in it which I want to avoid because, like I said, he is high risk. I got my boys theirs when they were babies, than stopped when they got older and got stronger immune systems.



answers from Tucson on

I too am more apt to undermedicate my children to give their bodies a chance to develope healthy immune systems that are strong on their own. I've never been a big fan of the flu shot myself and have only given it to my kids twice. My daughter was 3 months premature and had a lot against her health wise for the 1st couple years of her life. I felt it was in her best interest the year she was born and the following year to do what I could to protect her from what at tht stage in her life could be something potentially life threatening and also got my other 2 kids, myself and my husband the shots those years. This year she is 2 and a normal healthy child and we will not be getting the flu shot. While catching the virus may be unpleasant I do not feel it is something that would put her at risk at this time. My other kids were normal healthy full term babies and never had the shot until the last couple of years just to help protect their sister. They will not be getting it again either. Use your mama instincts. The shots are not required and no one should make you feel bad making the decision either way you go with it. She is quite young and while the virus itself is really not too bad it is the dehydration caused by the virus that can be dangerous to little ones that young. Also, if you choose to do it this year there is no saying you have to do it again next year! You are obviously a good mom or you wouldn't even be putting thought into this situation so regardless of your decision I'm sure it will be the right one for you and your family.

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