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Most Kids Who Died of Flu Weren’t Vaccinated, Study Finds

NBC News | Apr 4, 2017

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Apr 4, 2017

While there is often great debate over getting kids vaccinated, new research shows the risks of not vaccinating against the flu. On Monday, researchers from The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that most children who died of the flu were not vaccinated. At least, three-quarters of kids who fell ill from 2010 to 2014 were not vaccinated months before they contracted influenza.

"This study highlights the importance of annual influenza vaccination for children, especially those with underlying high-risk medical conditions," the report, authored by the CDC's Dr. Alicia Fry and colleagues, said. "Because of the higher risk of severe complications and influenza-associated death among children with underlying conditions, vaccination is especially important for these children."

The team looked at the cases of 358 children who died of influenza between 2010 and 2014.

"Vaccination status was determined for 291 deaths; 75 (26 percent) received vaccine before illness onset," they wrote.

"Every year, CDC receives reports of children who died from the flu. This study tells us that we can prevent more of these deaths by vaccinating more," said Brendan Flannery, a CDC epidemiologist who led the study.

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