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Is it necessary to give the flu vaccine to my child?

Q: My daughter is 10 months old. Her paediatrician has advised the following vaccines in addition to the normal immunization schedule. Flu (3 doses), Chickenpox and Hepatitis A (2 doses). The cost of Flu vaccine is Rs. 1000/- per injection. Should I give these to my daughter? What are the advantages of getting a flu vaccination done?

A:The primary deciding factor is whether you can easily afford to get the immunisation done. We need clarity on what you mean by Flu vaccination. If it refers to influenza (virus) vaccination, this is NOT required. If it refers to Haemophilus inflluenzae (bacterial) vaccination, this would be useful as it protects against an important bacteria that can cause pneumonia and meningitis (brain fever) in infants. Chicken pox and hepatitis A vaccination also protect against important morbidities, if you can easily afford it.

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