My five year old son has asthma, and his asthma is triggered primarily (or exclusively) by viruses. For some time, whenever he had a cold he'd end up with an asthmatic incident which could last a week; since he's been on Flovent and Singulair daily, the correlation isn't quite 1:1 but he still ends up in breathing trouble every few months. However, he has not needed oral steroids in almost a year and the asthma specialist is comfortable that his asthma is well under control.
He has had so far only two TD shots. His pediatrician is okay with no further vaccines, but his asthma specialist (who is generally more interventionist than I am comfortable with) has been pushing hard for us to give him the flu vaccine. On the one hand, this is my child who is most likely to have autoimmune issues -- besides the asthma, he has had a couple of incidents of dramatic hives (so bad that I couldn't put shoes on him because his feet would immediately swell to almost double their size) that we could not trace to any allergens, he is the most likely to break into random rashes, he reacted to milk in my diet when he was a baby. So I am nervous about giving him any unnecessary vaccines. And the flu vaccine in particular always seemed a little like a crapshoot -- you never know if it will actually be effective against that season's flu at all.
What is your approach to the flu vaccine for children, and particularly for asthmatic children?
I give the flu vaccine to most of my asthmatic patients. BUT, I'm flexible - I have patients who would rather risk the flu with asthma than put the flu vaccine into the auto-immune mix that their children have. I don't have a strong feeling one way or the other on this for you.
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