Last year, the flu was responsible for 179 pediatric deaths. That was the most pediatric deaths caused by Influenza since the 2009-2010 H1N1 strain of the flu often referred to as “Swine Flu.” It wasn’t just the most deadly in 7 years, but also resulted in the most hospitalizations during that same time period for all Americans ages 0 – 17 years old.
UNVACCINATED FLU RELATED DEATHS:
While many have come to feel that vaccination is not crucial as often the vaccines are based on the best estimates of potential strains of flu headed our way, according to the CDC (US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), approximately 80% of the children who died were unvaccinated.
KEY POINTS FOR THE 2018-2019 FLU SEASON & VACCINATION:
- Ideally, children (and adults) should try to get vaccinated by the end of October.
- If you or your child (or children) don’t receive vaccination by the end of October, vaccination should still be obtained during the flu season, even if it’s the first half of 2019.
- The peak time for the flu is unpredictable, but:
- 80% of peak flu season comes in January, February, and March.
- This means 20% of peak season comes in the months prior to January and after March / April.
According to the CDC, this year is the first flu season where multiple vaccine products including shots and nasal sprays (shots still are the number 1 recommended vaccine), that are licensed for children 6 months to 36 months old.
Remember the flu spreads like wildfire even (and especially) during the typical 48 hours one is infected but is not yet showing any symptoms. I’m going to get my flu shot and bring my daughter for hers. How about you?
AAP COMMITTEE ON INFECTIOUS DISEASES, (2018). Recommendations for Prevention and Control of Influenza in Children, 2018-2019. Pediatrics, 142(4). Retrieved from: https://doi.org/10.1542/peds.2018-2367