The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released a new report that reveals a startling fact about children who died from the flu last year: Over 90 percent of them had not received the influenza vaccine. Last year, 105 children died of influenza.
“First off, we know the actual numbers are higher,” CDC director Dr. Tom Frieden said. “We know that about half those kids did not have a pre-existing condition. We know the overwhelming majority, around 90 percent, didn’t get a flu shot.”
These days, there are few excuses not to vaccinate one’s child against influenza. The CDC has stepped up its game for the 2014-2015 flu season. The CDC has 150 million doses of the vaccine available, and that dratted Obummercare requires health insurance companies to cover 100 percent of the cost. Those who are allergic to needles may receive the vaccine via nasal spray or a needle-free method that delivers the dose in a narrow, precise fluid stream that penetrates the skin.
“Influenza vaccines are safe, plentiful and we have more vaccine options than ever before—at least one is right for everyone,” Vanderbilt University’s Dr. William Schaffner said. “People should not wait to get vaccinated if their first choice is not available.” Among the vaccine options are the traditional flu shot, a nasal spray vaccine, an intradermal vaccine given with a much smaller needle, a high-dose vaccine for people age 65 and older and an egg-free vaccine.”
“Influenza vaccines are safe, plentiful and we have more vaccine options than ever before — at least one is right for everyone,” Schaffner told NBC News. “There’s simply no reason to take that risk.”
Last year, children were grossly unprepared for the flu season. According to the CDC’s report, white children between 6 months and 17 years old were protected at lowest rate — just 55 percent were vaccinated. African-American families are slightly more responsible, with 57 percent receiving the flu vaccine. Hispanics chose to responsibly defend their children against the illness at a rate of 66 percent.
The good news is that while both numbers are abysmal, children are vaccinated at a higher rate than adults. At minimum, it shows that more and more people are seeing the importance of taking steps to prevent illnesses. In the 2008-2009 flu season, 43 percent of children received vaccinations, while 40 percent of adults took those protective measures.
Since then, the gap has widened — though both groups have been vaccinated at a higher rate. In the 2013-2014 season, 59 percent of kids received the influenza vaccination, compared to 42 percent of adults.
The CDC recommends “that people get vaccinated against the flu soon after vaccine becomes available, preferably by October because it takes about “two weeks after vaccination for antibodies to develop in the body and provide protection against the flu.”