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Doctors encourage flu shots, especially for kids

One in three parents unlikely to vaccinate children
Posted at 7:47 AM, Oct 06, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-06 09:47:02-04

DENVER, Colo. — With concerns about a "twindemic" of Covid-19 and influenza, doctors in Colorado are encouraging people to get vaccinated as soon as possible. On Tuesday, the CDC also launched a new advertising campaign to encourage flu shots.

The CDC says surveys show one in three parents will likely not vaccinate their children against influenza. In the 2019-2020 flu season, Latinx/Hispanic adults had the lowest flu vaccination coverage at 38.3%, with non-Hispanic Black adults next lowest at 41.2%.

Doctors at Children's Hospital Colorado say flu can be especially serious for children, largely because of secondary bacterial infections. Still, parents may feel it's not necessary to vaccinate.

"I think flu is just something that we’ve gotten more complacent with and we’re more familiar with it and we’ve heard about the risks our entire life," Dr. Sarah Gitomer, a Pediatric Ear, Nose and Throat specialist, said.

But doctors stress that the flu vaccine can do more than just prevent flu. It can also lessen the seriousness of the illness and reduce the likelihood of hospitalization.

"It's important to remember that even in non-Covid years, influenza is a major killer in the US," Dr. Juri Boguniewicz, a Pediatric Infectious Disease Specialist, at Children’s Hospital said.

According to the CDC, the flu can lead to more illnesses and hospitalizations in a given year than Covid-19 has caused in 2020. In the 2017-2018 flu season, 45 million Americans fell ill with influenza, and more then 800,000 were hospitalized.

Doctors encourage people to get a flu shot before the end of October. You can find locations on the CDC's vaccine finder.