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More Reasons to Get a Flu Shot

by Sue Hubbard, M.D.

Just released in the October issue of Pediatrics is news related to children and the need for flu shots. There has been previous data to support the need for giving flu vaccine to infants (six months and older) and young children, as they have higher rates of complications and hospitalizations. There have also been more deaths in infants who had influenza.

Recent information from the last several flu seasons has shown an increased risk of complications and death in children five and older who get the flu and also contract a staph infection. Many of the reported deaths in the 2006-2007 flu season were in otherwise healthy children who had no known risk factors for complications secondary to influenza. In the study only six percent of the children who died had been fully vaccinated against the flu.

So with this year’s recommendations for flu vaccine including all children from six months through 18 years, any parent with a child should be heading out to get their child vaccinated. If your child is under the age of nine years, and has never had a flu vaccine, they will require two doses separated by at least four weeks. This is important news, as 73 children died from flu in 2006-2007. That may seem like a small number, unless it is your child.

That’s your daily dose, we’ll chat tomorrow.

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