• Understanding Flu Vaccine: What Parents Need to Know


Wendy Sue Swanson, MD, MBE, FAAP


American Academy of Pediatrics

Contact: Lisa Black, AAP Media Relations

Office Phone: 630-626-6084

Email: lblack@aap.org

Wendy Sue Swanson, MD, MBE, FAAP can address:

(1) What parents need to know to protect their children from flu; (2) What the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends for flu vaccine and treatment. (3) Parents can choose any form of the vaccine that is available, injected or nasal spray, which contain the same viruses.

Dr. Wendy Sue Swanson Bio:

Pediatrician Dr. Wendy Sue Swanson is a spokesperson for the American Academy of Pediatrics and author of the Seattle Mama Doc Blog. She recently created and launched “Flu Doctor”, an Alexa skill built in partnership with Boston Children’s Hospital to build trust in the science and safety of the flu vaccine.

Dr. Swanson speaks in the U.S. and internationally on physician use of social media, digital health and innovation in advocacy and public health. She has covered influenza in both traditional and digital media since 2009.

Dr. Swanson is an advocate on the topic of vaccines and she was named a CDC Childhood Immunization Champion in 2012. Her first book, Mama Doc Medicine: Finding Calm and Confidence in Parenting, Child Health, and Work-Life Balance was published by the American Academy of Pediatrics in March, 2014 and is a Gold Award Recipient of the Mom’s Choice Awards.

Dr. Swanson graduated with Honors in Psychology from Kenyon College. She earned an MD and MBE (Master’s in Bioethics) at the University of Pennsylvania School Of Medicine and then completed her residency at Seattle Children’s Hospital. In addition to her blog, she can be found at www.wendysueswanson.com and on Twitter (@SeattleMamaDoc), Facebook (@SeattleMamaDoc), and Instagram(@mamadocmed).

2019-2020 Flu Quotes From Dr. Swanson
• The flu vaccine is an every-year, essential vaccine as the strains included in the vaccine shift each year based on the types of flu predicted.
• This year, the great news is that you have two vaccine choices: the injected shot after six months of age, or the nasal spray at two years of age.
• Pregnant women can help protect themselves and their unborn children by getting the vaccine. Flu shots are safe anytime during pregnancy. When mom gets a flu vaccine, she protects herself and creates antibodies that she passes to her baby.
• Influenza is predictably unpredictable so layering protections in our families can help. Get your flu shot, wash your hands, stay home when ill, and stay away from those who are sick. The flu can cause serious complications even in healthy children.
• Last year 130 children died in the United States from influenza infections or complications from the infection. And like many seasons before, about 80% of those children who died didn’t get a flu shot.

Additional resources:
• AAP provides tips for parents at its Healthy Children website, which are: The Flu; Which Flu Vaccine Should My Children Get This Year?; and Ask the Pediatrician
• Infographics, videos and social media messages on immunization are available are here.
• Free images depicting vaccination are here.


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  • Vaccine Recommendations
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