Flu Death Stats Underscore Importance of Getting Vaccinated

Tabitha Dunn
April 7, 2017

What researchers found was that the majority of children who died from the flu from 2010-2014 had not been vaccinated.

The CDC recommends that everyone 6 months and older get a flu shot every year, with a few rare exceptions ― for individuals who have life-threatening allergies to the vaccine's ingredients, for example.

Children should be vaccinated each year, though after the first year they only need one dose. They compared the details of these cases to those of four different national surveys of children in the same age groups who did not die after coming down with the flu.

The CDC explained that children with high-risk conditions should get the injected version, as should pregnant women. And kids who were at high risk for flu complications, such as those with asthma or chronic lung or heart disease, accounted for more than half of those deaths. Of all 358 cases, only 291 had a definite vaccination status.

Even with a non-exact match between the vaccine strain and a presenting strain, the vaccine can offer protection in the form of lessening the severity of the flu even if it is contracted.

Or, to put it another way: a simple flu shot probably could have spared most (if not all) of those infants.

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The CDC released a statement that since the 2004-2005 season, flu-related deaths in children have ranged from 37 (2011-2012) to 171 (2012-2013).

"This study highlights the importance of annual influenza vaccination for children, especially those with underlying high-risk medical conditions", Fry explained.

These findings greatly underscore the vaccination debate (that vaccines only work if everyone gets them-something called "herd immunity").

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

In the study, researchers looked at the cases of almost 300 USA children who died from the flu over four flu seasons. Deaths were reported from 43 states, New York City, Chicago and Washington, D.C., and included children aged 6 months through 17 years.

With the 2016-2017 flu season now in its last weeks, a new study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) suggests that flu vaccination in children significantly reduces the rate of flu-related pediatric mortality.

Other reports by Guamnewswatch

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