On Monday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released a study examining how flu vaccines impacted, affected, or saved children. Researchers found that at least three-quarters of kids who died from influenza between 2010 and 2014 were not vaccinated in the months before they got sick. Moreover, researchers found that 50% of the children who died were healthy before they became infected. Meanwhile, children that had asthma or developmental disorders were at especially high risk.
Dr. Alicia Fry and her colleagues argued that the annual influenza vaccine is crucial and important for children’s health.
“This study highlights the importance of annual influenza vaccination for children, especially those with underlying high-risk medical conditions,” Fry explained.
Researchers examined over 300 children who died of flu between 2010 and 2014. Of the children who died of the flu approximately 26% of those children had received a vaccine before they got sick. Scientists also discovered the flu vaccine decrease the risk of death in children by 65%. That said, researchers found that the vaccine also helped reduce the possibility of dying by 51% in children that are considered high risk. However, less than half of all children were vaccinated against the flu from 2010 to 2014. The CDC reports that over 60 kids have died from influenza this year.
Influenza vaccine effectiveness
Two months ago, the CDC revealed that the current flu vaccine is more than twice as effective as 2014’s flu shot. Currently, the most common virus strain this year’s influenza A H3N2. The CDC says that the effectiveness is preventing this type of infection hovers around 50%. However, the flu shots effectiveness against influenza B strength is 73%. Consequently, the CDC says the overall protection against this year’s flu is around 48%. In comparison to 2014, the vaccine was only 19% effective, according to the CDC.
The CDC tells unvaccinated people who are six months old or older to get the flu vaccine still this year.