Pediatrician urges parents to get kids vaccinated for the flu

Traditionally, as the temperatures dip, flu cases rise.

After 'barely' seeing any cases last year, local health officials are concerned there could be a spike in children this year.

According to Dr. Rania Hiram, a pediatrician at the Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre (RVH), during the winter months, the hospital sees a "fair spike" in flu infections and hospitalizations along with other respiratory infections, including RSV (respiratory syncytial virus), affecting infants to four months.

With safety measures like masks, social distancing, school closures and lockdowns, doctors are concerned children didn't build enough natural immunity to be protected this year.

"We are worried that we are going to be seeing a spike in influenza infections which, combined with COVID and other respiratory illnesses in the winter, might really overwhelm our health care system," Hiram said.

With the lack of exposure to the flu virus, the pediatrician believes there's no better time than this year for parents to get their child the flu shot, adding that talk about the "flu shot has been on the back burner."

"I really want to put a plug-in for the flu shot, especially this year, and unlike COVID, flu shots are approved for children six months of age."