Home > H1N1 Flu, In the News, Preventable Diseases, Seasonal Flu > Timely Flu News and Updates on Pediatric Deaths

Timely Flu News and Updates on Pediatric Deaths

Over the last two decades, Every Child By Two has worked with partners at the grassroots and national levels to develop initiatives that help educate the public, healthcare workers and lawmakers about the importance and safety of immunizations.  As part of this mission, they continue their efforts to inform the public about the universal recommendations for influenza vaccination and the details of the current influenza season.

In a critical update from the CDC this week, Every Child By Two discovered that there have been 9 new pediatric deaths from influenza in the week ending in January 25th.

With a total of 37 pediatric deaths so far for the 2013-2014 flu season, the biggest tragedy is that 23 of the 37 children who died had a known vaccination status and they were eligible for vaccination; however, only 2 of the 23 children were fully vaccinated.

Furthermore, 6 of children who died were in the 0-5 month age group and ineligible for vaccination based on their age.  Ten of the children were between 6 and 23 months; five children were between 2 and 4 years old; ten children were between 5 and 11 years old; and six children were between 12 and 17 years old.

But no matter what the age or vaccination status, a pediatric flu death is a tragedy, especially if it could have been prevented with a simple vaccination.  

According to these recent reports from the CDC, flu activity still remains high throughout the nation, even though it appears to have peaked nationally.  Additionally, we are still seeing H1N1 as the predominant flu virus for this season, which is fortunately one of the strains covered in this season’s flu vaccine.  While there has been a small increase in influenza B cases, this strain still remains at less than 10% of all positive flu tests.

Through more than 20 years of service, Every Child by Two and its partners in public health have developed many successful strategies to help protect all children from vaccine preventable diseases.  They continue to raise parental awareness of the critical need for timely immunizations through their Vaccinate Your Baby campaign and Vaccinate Your Baby Facebook page and they offer a library of resources for educational purposes, such as the video shown above.

For more information about the flu, and to help in locating a flu vaccine, visit Families Fighting Flu and Flu.gov

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  1. February 8, 2014 at 11:47 am

    “6 of children who died were in the 0-5 month age group and ineligible for vaccination based on their age.”

    This is a reason why it’s so important for new parents and families caring for newborns to be vaccinated against the flu. The only way to protect infants is by creating a safe environment of vaccinated caregivers. Mothers and father should be asking loved ones to help protect the baby by getting the flu shot well before the due date to ensure the vaccine has time to take effect and work. According the the CDC, “Most healthy adults may be able to infect other people beginning 1 day before symptoms develop and up to 5 to 7 days after becoming sick. Children may pass the virus for longer than 7 days. Symptoms start 1 to 4 days after the virus enters the body.” That means that people can pass on the flu to an infant before they know they are sick. Vaccinating decreases the chances of people getting sick thus increasing protection for the newborns.

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