Even though a record number of kids died from the flu last year, many parents still aren’t protecting their children from the influenza virus.
According to a recent report, 34 percent of U.S. parents said their child was unlikely to get the flu vaccine this year. The online poll focused on parents who had at least one child.
Jeffrey K. Burton, M.D., pediatrician with Norton Children’s Medical Associates – Fern Creek, said the report is disturbing, especially considering that 80 percent of children who died from the flu last year weren’t vaccinated.
“The vaccine literally saves lives,” Dr. Burton said.
Some reasons parents gave for not vaccinating their children included being too busy and not getting strong recommendations from their medical providers. Others were concerned about side effects and not seeing the need to vaccinate a healthy child.
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“The vaccine is the best protection against the flu,” Dr. Burton said. “Even if it doesn’t prevent the illness completely, the shot tends to make the virus less severe and help symptoms go away faster.”
Dr. Burton also dispelled the myth that you can get the flu from the shot.
“The shot itself contains a dead virus,” he said. “If your child doesn’t feel 100 percent a day or two after getting the vaccine, it’s because the immune system is building up antibodies to fight the real flu. It’s worth it.”