A Yearly Flu Shot Could Save Your Child’s Life

New research shows that up to 65 percent of influenza-related deaths among children can be prevented with flu vaccinations.

Making sure your child gets a flu shot every year should be a priority, even if you’re a busy parent. New research published in Pediatrics shows that making a trip to the doctor’s office or pharmacy before flu season could be vital in avoiding a potential tragedy.

study by members of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention looked at 358 lab-confirmed pediatric deaths associated with influenza from July 2010 to June 2014. Of that number, the study was able to confirm the vaccination status for 291 deaths and found that only 26 percent had received flu vaccinations. By comparing this number with three other groups of children whose vaccination statuses were tracked, the study concluded that 65 percent of flu-related deaths among children could be prevented with an annual flu shot.

A Natural Defense

The flu vaccine works by imitating the virus, causing your body to develop antibodies that defend against the strains of influenza scientists predict will be common for the upcoming flu season. Though these predictions can vary in accuracy from year to year, the vaccine consistently reduces the risk of contracting the flu.

Protecting Your Family

While childhood death from the flu is rare, missing a flu vaccine can increase your child’s chances of contracting severe complications from the virus, such as pneumonia or an ear infection. The best way to protect yourself and your children is to make sure your family gets vaccinated every year.