A third of US parents ’unlikely’ to vaccinate their children against flu this year, poll shows

Forty-two per cent of parents worried about side effects of treatment

Louise Hall
Wednesday 30 September 2020 02:02 BST
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Anti-vaccine activists hold signs in front of the Massachusetts State House during a protest against mandatory vaccines
Anti-vaccine activists hold signs in front of the Massachusetts State House during a protest against mandatory vaccines

One in three parents say they will likely not vaccinate their children against flu this season amidst the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, a new poll has shown.

The recent National Poll on Children's Health released by CS Mott Children's Hospital revealed that 32 per cent of parents say their child is "unlikely" to get a flu vaccine.

Explaining their choice, 42 per cent of the parents surveyed say they are worried about the side effects of the flu vaccine, the hospital said.

Two in five (40 per cent) parents said that they believe that the flu vaccine is not necessary and 32 per cent said they did not believe it would be effective. 

Around 14 per cent of parents said they will not aim to give their children the vaccine in an effort to avoid health care sites amid the ongoing pandemic.

Just under half (49 per cent) of parents said that they were “very likely” to have their child vaccinated against flu this year as the coronavirus pandemic continues to tear through the US.

Health experts have issued warnings that the upcoming flu season mixing with the ongoing coronavirus could prove disastrous for public health on many fronts.

Dr Robert Redfield, director of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), has long urged that the administration of flu vaccine’s this winter could be instrumental to saving lives amidst the pandemic.

Speaking at the House Energy and Commerce Committee hearing in June Mr Redfield encouraged all Americans to “embrace” the vaccination.

“This fall, before the seasonal circulation of influenza increase, I encourage the American people to be prepared and to embrace flu vaccination with confidence for yourself, your families in the communities,” he said.

He added: “This single act will save lives."

Flu vaccines could help preserve health care resources by reducing the number of influenza-related hospitalisations and decreasing the need for testing to distinguish cases of flu from coronavirus, the hospital said.

The vaccine can also prevent someone from getting both viruses at the same time.

Mr Redfield said that the CDC has acquired an additional two million pediatric flu shots for children who are not insured, ABC News reported.

This includes reducing the number of influenza-related hospitalisations and doctor visits, and decreasing the need for diagnostic tests to distinguish influenza from coronavirus.

The poll was administered in August 2020 to a randomly selected, stratified group of adults, and results are based on responses from 1,992 parents who had at least one child age two to 18 years.

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