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The reason we’re discussing vaccination again is that last year between September 2010 and the end of August 2011, 115 American children died of influenza. According to recent report issued by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)[1], almost 75 percent of the 115 children who died from influenza were not vaccinated. Also according to this CDC Report, the median age of the flu deaths was six years old and, shockingly, about half of the children who died had no apparent high-risk factors for flu complications.

The CDC estimated that not quite 50 percent of American children received the flu vaccine last year. Now, the CDC and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) are urging parents, family members and caregivers responsible for children’s health, safety and wellbeing to make sure children are vaccinated for the flu this year. Seen as the first step in limiting what could become an epidemic, vaccination is important. Other things as simple as frequent hand-washing, covering one’s mouth and nose when sneezing, keeping sick children and family members at home if they have the flu, can all help to slow the spread of influenza.

This year’s flu season will soon be upon us. In most areas around the country, flu vaccines are being made more readily available than they have been in the past. The flu is definitely something for parents, family members and caregivers of young children to consider seriously. Common complications which can result from the flu can be deadly, and include pneumonia, sepsis, shock, respiratory distress, and even encephalitis. It is a commonly accepted fact that the flu is often very serious for young children, people with compromised immune systems and the elderly.

The CDC’s current recommendation is that children over six months of age get a flu vaccination; and although the flu vaccine is not 100% effective, it "is still the single best way to prevent the flu."

For more more information on vaccines, visit:

[1] "Influenza-Associated Pediatric Deaths – United Sates, September 2010 – August 2011," U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia.

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