The U.S. Centers for Disease and Control Prevention (CDC) said in a new statement that most flu-related deaths were due to non-vaccination. The center then urged parents to have their children get influenza vaccine to prevent the increase of deaths.
The new study claimed children who died from flu from 2010 to 2014 did not have yearly influenza vaccine. The study, published in the April 3 edition of journal Pediatrics, noted that the annual influenza vaccine actually prevents deaths caused by flu. Brendan Flannery, the lead author of the study and epidemiologist at CDC, added they studied a sample population of 358 flu-related deaths that included as young as six months old and as old as 17.
Of the 358 flu-related deaths, 291 had no yearly influenza vaccination. According to the study, 26 percent of the 358 sample population had received the flu vaccine for that year but the data did not include the other children who got vaccinated before their death. CDC said it usually takes 14 days for the vaccine to take effect, Huffington Post revealed.
Half of the 358 sample population was healthy before they died. Others had cases that experts referred to as high-risk because they had conditions such as asthma, diabetes, developmental disorders and the like. The author of the research, CDC's Dr. Alicia Fry, said their latest study highlighted the importance of annual influenza vaccination for children "especially those with underlying high-risk medical conditions," NBC News reported.
More on the high-risk medical conditions, only 31 percent of the 358 children who died from flu got their annual vaccine during the aforementioned period. Experts found that the influenza vaccine was 51 percent effective in children with high-risk conditions while it was 65 percent effective in children with low-risk conditions.
As for this flu season, the CDC reported 61 flu-related deaths in children. For adults, the center estimated a total of 4,000 to 50,000 deaths annually.
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