No need to rush over flu vaccines to kids, say Hyderabad doctors | Hyderabad News – Times of India


HYDERABAD: As parents across the state rush to get their children flu shots, hoping it will shield them from Covid-19, doctors have urged them to drop the idea as there is no evidence to suggest flu vaccines can save one from coronavirus.
Among doctors too, there is yet to be consensus over administration of flu shots as some believe they do work against Covid-19 while others are of the opinion they are only effective against the flu. Another group is of the opinion that these shots are unnecessary as children already have several vaccines administered to them in their early years. However, in the wake of the pandemic, the lack of a common stance over the issue has resulted in concern among several parents.
“I had consulted two different paediatricians and got conflicting views. One doctor said that there are some studies which show that flu vaccine might prevent Covid-19, another said that it won’t but it will at least prevent flu which is very common during this time of the year. Also, since flu and Covid-19 have similar symptoms, in case of the kid being given flu vaccine, identifying Covid will be easier,” said Sushma Jain, mother to a five year old.
Another reason doctors are advocating flu shots is that with more children being protected from flu, the requirement for hospital beds in case of a third wave will be reduced as lesser number of kids will fall ill due to flu.
“Flu vaccine giving protection against Covid-19 is just a hypothesis, it is not proven. It is being recommended that all children take flu vaccines for the next two to three years. On one hand it makes diagnosis easier and on the other it cuts down the need for hospitalisation for flu. That way, our healthcare system can cater more effectively to children affected by Covid-19. However, there is no need to frantically rush for the vaccine thinking it will protect from Covid-19 and it (the flu vaccine) can be taken later in July or August too. The flu vaccine will only protect from flu,” informed Dr Sharmila K, senior consultant paediatrician at Apollo Hospitals, Hyderabad.

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