Flu Shot Reduces Child's Risk Of Dying From The Virus — CDC

Wednesday, 05 Apr, 2017

These occurred among children throughout four flu seasons, though vaccination status was determined for 291 of those deaths.

In a case focusing on almost 300 children from the US who died from flu over four seasons, researchers found that a lot of them have not been vaccinated against the virus.

They found that only 26 per cent of the children who died had been vaccinated against influenza.

Approximately half of the children who died between 2010 and 2014 had at least one high-risk medical condition, such as a neurological disorder, diabetes, asthma, heart disease or an immune deficiency, which can increase susceptibility to influenza complications.

Three-quarters of the children who died had not been vaccinated before they got sick.

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that all children, ages 6 months and older, receive the influenza vaccination on an annual basis. Moreover, researchers found that 50% of the children who died were healthy before they became infected. In this current flu season, 61 children have reportedly died from the flu as of March 25, according to the CDC. Scientists also discovered the flu vaccine decrease the risk of death in children by 65%.

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The report said the findings highlight "the importance of annual influenza vaccination for children, especially those with underlying high-risk medical conditions".

"The vaccine is not ideal and some children in this study died from flu despite receiving [the] vaccine", Flannery said.

Flu season may be winding down, but as it does, there's a good lesson for next fall.

"With an imperfect vaccine, we'll still see deaths from the flu", Flannery said.

"Influenza vaccination was associated with reduced risk of laboratory-confirmed influenza-associated pediatric death", the authors write. It makes you think the vaccine works less well than it does.

In addition, some parents worry about the vaccine's safety, particularly if their child has a chronic health condition.