Influenza Vaccine Protects Children and Child Care Workers

Outbreaks of influenza can be stopped by requiring that most child care workers and children who are over 6 months of age get flu vaccine. The CDC reported low influenza vaccination rates among child care workers in a national sample. The most common reasons for not getting the vaccine were mistaken ideas. The respondents didn't understand that they needed to get the vaccine, that the vaccine does prevent or reduce the severity of the flu, and that the vaccine is safe. Those who got the vaccine had the facts and felt some external pressure to receive the vaccine. Strong promotion of flu vaccine is associated with significantly decreased rates of emergency department visits for flu-like symptoms.

If you or anyone around you has not yet had flu vaccine, ask why not. Ask whether the person is reconsidering those reasons in light of the evidence that flu vaccine helps reduce the severity of the disease, even when it doesn't prevent it altogether. The vaccine is available from health care professionals, in grocery stores, pharmacies and public health departments starting in the fall, and continuing to the end of the high risk period in the spring. Check that all children and adults have flu vaccine this year. Updated 4/2019.