Unvaccinated children far more likely to die from flu, CDC says

Toni Houston
April 7, 2017

The flu vaccine DCHHS provides is an all-in-one shot that protects against multiple flu strains including the H1N1 virus. A government study found three of every four kids who died from the flu wasn't vaccinated.

If children and teenagers are vaccinated properly against the flu yearly, then the death rate would eventually decrease, a new U.S. government study says.

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

The researchers noted that 153 children in the study had "high-risk" medical conditions - such as asthma, heart disease or blood disorders - that put these individuals at an increased risk of flu complications that can lead to hospitalizations or death. The most promising avenues for a "one-time" flu vaccine are based around using a highly-conserved viral protein that is found in all circulating flu viruses, and not relying on the rapidly-changing components that create the year-to-year differences. Additionally, many of these children would have been considered high-risk for complications because they had chronic health conditions like asthma.

Did your child get a flu shot this year?

The researchers found that there were 358 laboratory-confirmed influenza-associated pediatric deaths among children aged 6 months through 17 years from July 2010 through June 2014.

So far this flu season, the CDC has reported 61 deaths of kids from influenza.

Most children have died in recent years because they were not properly vaccinated against the virus.

She said in general, "we do see flu start to trend down around now, this month in April, but sometimes we will see cases of flu well into May".

Flu outbreaks vary depending on the region and time of the year, and the CDC recommends that everyone should receive the flu shot as soon as it is available in their community, which is sometime around August and September.

Flu season began in October.

Researchers estimated how effective the vaccine was at preventing flu-related deaths by comparing the vaccination status of the children who died from flu to comparison groups of children.

This is the first pediatric death in Dallas County for the 2016-2017 flu season.

Average vaccine coverage in survey cohorts was 48%, said the authors.

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