At least 30 children across the country have died of the flu during a particularly dangerous season which has left a spike of cases among older people and children being hospitalized, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Though the flu season typically peaks in February, the outbreak is already one of the worst on record, as the flu has touched every U.S. state, with 32 states reporting severe flu activity.
We get the shot because I have had family members who didn’t get inoculated from common illnesses actually die after contracting them.
So my family doesn’t mess around and accept any risks even when one of contract the flu anyway.
A Facebook friend of mine recently polled her wide and expansive followers and friends querying whether they or their children get the flu shot.
I was amazed that the overwhelming majority, close to 90 percent, of her respondents said no to both.
No no judgment here but still I was amazed by the number of families who, for varying reasons I’m sure, decide against it.
The American Journal of Infection Control study, designed to shed light on why influenza vaccines are not more widely used, enrolled 131 of 140 eligible patients (9 months to 18 years of age) who were tested for influenza in a single, small suburban pediatric practice during the 2012-13 influenza season. Parents completed a written questionnaire asking about previous history of influenza, vaccination at other facilities, reasons for not vaccinating, and intention to vaccinate next year.
In this study, influenza vaccines were accepted less frequently than the hepatitis A vaccine, despite the fact that hepatitis A is a relatively low risk disease compared to influenza. The study also looked at the effect of birth dates on vaccination, noting that parents of children whose birthdays fell outside of the favorable vaccination season (August 1 — December 15) may forget to come back to the doctor to get their children immunized. The author says that larger studies may find this to be of greater significance.
“The first and most common reason could encompass a belief that risk for contracting influenza is low in their family as well as that the vaccine offers little protection,” explains study author Scott Field, MD, of the University of Alabama Schrool of Medicine. “A reason rarely discussed in the medical literature relating to why many parents do not think influenza vaccines are needed is the infrequency with which many individuals and families experience influenza first hand.” Most influenza positive patients (59 percent) and controls (89 percent) in the study had no prior influenza history, and those with previous influenza had significantly more risk of being positive.”