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Flu Shots for Babies Falling Short, Study Suggests


  09:11:00 pm, by MedBen5   , 219 words,  
Categories: News, Wellness, Children's Health, Immunizations

Flu Shots for Babies Falling Short, Study Suggests


The percentage of U.S. babies that get flu shots has risen dramatically in the past decade... but the numbers still come in well short of expectations, according to a new study.

HealthDay reports that about 45% of babies aged 6 months to 23 months got vaccinated against the flu during the 2011-12 flu season. While that's a vast improvement over the 2002-03 rate of just 5%, that U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that most children 6 months and older get a flu shot every year. (MedBen WellLiving guidelines advise clients to consult their pediatrician or family physician regarding childhood influenza immunizations.)

"While flu vaccination for children has gone up, there is still a long way to go to protect every child," said study lead researcher Tammy Santibanez, an epidemiologist with CDC's National Immunization Program. She added that special emphasis should be placed on encouraging black and Hispanic parents to get their children a flu shot, as their vaccination numbers are typically lower than those of white children.

On average, 20,000 children under 5 years of age are annually hospitalized because of complications from the flu. During last year's flu season, more than 140 children died from flu, the CDC said.

"Both parents and doctors can work together to do a better job at ensuring that children are fully vaccinated and protected against the flu," Santibanez said.

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