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Poll: One in three parents will not get flu shots for their children this year

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Published: Sep. 29, 2020 at 2:41 AM EDT
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(WOIO) - One in three parents say their child is unlikely to get the flu vaccine this year, amid warnings from health experts that getting the vaccine is more important than ever this year because of the COVID-19 crisis.

The C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital National Poll on Children’s Health asked a national sample of parents in August about getting a flu vaccine for their child.

32 percent of parents said their child is unlikely to get the flu vaccine this year.

By contrast, about half (49 percent) of parents said their child between the ages of two and 18 is “very likely” to get a flu shot this year, while 19 percent said it was “likely.”

40 percent of parents who don’t plan on getting a flu shot for their child said the flu vaccine is not necessary and 32 percent said it’s not effective.

14 percent of parents said they’re keeping their child away from health care centers because of COVID-19.

Dr. Steven Gordon, Chairman of the Cleveland Clinic’s Department of Infectious Disease, said getting COVID-19 and the flu at the same time would be “devastating and deadly.”

Dr. Gordon also said a bad flu season could “strain the capacity of the nation’s healthcare system, its caregivers' mental and physical health, and its stock of personal protective equipment.”

Health officials recommend everyone six months and older get vaccinated every year by the end of October.

2017 study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found the flu vaccine reduces the risk of flu-associated death in half (51 percent) among children with underlying high-risk medical conditions and by nearly two-thirds (65 percent) among healthy children.

Call your primary care doctor or pharmacy to learn how to get a flu shot.

Copyright 2020 WOIO. All rights reserved.

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