According to a new poll, one in three parents do not intend to vaccinate their children against the flu this season—despite a second, and possibly even deadlier wave, of the novel coronavirus.
Health officials across the nation have emphasized how vital the need is for vaccinations, especially this year. In part, the emphasis is to limit any possible additional stress on an already spread thin health care system that is fighting to control the current pandemic phase.
Experts fear that if vaccinations do not control the flu, then dealing with both it and COVID-19 this winter could become overwhelming. Despite this warning, the National Poll on Children's Health recently reported that an estimated 32% of parents state that they are "unlikely" to pursue the flu vaccine for their child or children.
Of those individuals polled who said they were not planning on having the vaccine administered, 42% said that their primary worry was that of any possible side effects that may occur. Yet other parents feel that the flu vaccine is not actually necessary (40%) or even effective (32%).
Then there are those parents, roughly 14% who will not have the vaccine administered, saying they will keep their children away from any health care or medical sites due to the ongoing pandemic. Lastly, an estimated 9% have stated that their children do not like needles or just do not want to have to take the flu vaccine.
On the other hand, an estimated two-thirds of parents in the US are planning to have their child or children vaccinated for the flu this year, with up to 49% stating they are "very likely" to follow through.
As far back as April, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) started its campaign to encourage everyone, young and old alike, to think about getting the flu vaccination when the flu season rolled around. Other than the obvious of controlling the spread of the virus, the reason stated was to aid in the prevention of overwhelming and overburdening hospitals.
Health officials feel that if the flu season's start should happen to coincide with a second wave of the coronavirus, the results may prove to become even more devastating than the early months of the pandemic.
The advantage to getting the flu vaccination, according to the CDC, will be that it will aid in a reduction in the "number of influenza-related hospitalizations and doctor visits." It would also serve to decrease "the need for diagnostic tests to distinguish influenza from COVID-19."
Are you planning on getting a flu vaccination for yourself or your child this year?