33% of Parents Won’t Get Flu Shots for Their Kids

By Robert Preidt

HealthDay reporter

MONDAY, September 28, 2020 (HealthDay News) – The coronavirus pandemic and the upcoming flu season could pose a double threat, but many American parents plan to not get their children’s flu shots, according to a new survey.

Although public health experts highlight the need for people of all ages to get a seasonal flu shot during the COVID-19 pandemic, 1 in 3 U.S. parents said they don’t plan to have their child vaccinated against it. flu this fall. Only a third think getting their child vaccinated is more important than usual this year.

Frequently cited reasons include unfounded concerns about side effects or mistaken beliefs that a flu shot is neither necessary nor effective.

These are among the results of CS Mott Children’s Hospital’s national survey on children’s health in Michigan Medicine. It was conducted in August and included almost 2,000 responses from parents of children aged 2 to 18.

“We can see spikes in the flu and COVID-19 at the same time, which could overwhelm the health care system, blood pressure testing ability and potentially reduce our ability to catch and effectively treat both respiratory illnesses,” he said said Sarah Clark, co-director of the survey.

“Our report finds that even during the pandemic, some parents do not view the flu shot as more urgent or necessary,” she added in a press release. “This reinforces concerns about how the onset of the influenza season may exacerbate the challenges in managing COVID-19.”

Since 2010, influenza has caused 9 to 45 million illnesses, 140,000 to 810,000 hospitalizations and 12,000 to 61,000 deaths per year, according to the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Children under 5, and especially those under 2, are at high risk of serious complications from the flu. In the last flu season, 188 children died from the flu, according to CDC data.

Parents who did not have their child vaccinated against the flu last year are the least likely to do so this year (less than a third), while parents who had their child vaccinated last year were more likely to do it again (96%), according to the survey.


“A major challenge for public health officials is how to reach parents who are not routinely seeking a seasonal flu shot for their child,” Clark said. “When it is not common to get the flu shot every year, parents need to be encouraged to think about why it is essential for their child to get the flu shot.

Parents whose health care provider strongly recommends the flu shot are more likely to get their children immunized this year, but less than half of parents said their child’s regular health care provider strongly recommends the flu shot. flu shot this year.

Perhaps that’s because there has been a sharp drop in in-person visits with doctors during the pandemic, Clark said.

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SOURCE: University of Michigan Medicine, press release, September 28, 2020

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