According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), the influenza vaccine not only prevents seasonal flu, but also reduces sick days, antibiotic use, and physician visits. It also reduces the risk of hospitalization and death.
The AAP's updated recommendation reflects changes in available vaccines. Here is another nice table of available products for the season upon us. Under the 2014-2015 recommendations, children between the ages of 6 months to 8 years should receive 2 influenza vaccines separated by a minimum of 4 weeks. You can use the live attenuated influenza vaccine for those aged 2-8 years, though watch contraindications to live (children using aspirin or aspirin-containing medications, children younger than 2, immunocompromised children, or a history of asthma/wheezing).
In our household, we are planning on the live attenuated because of demonstrated superior efficacy over inactivated in preventing influenza among children according to a study back in 2007.
Here are some common misconceptions about the flu vaccine.