According to a new report published by the C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital, 34% of U.S. parents can’t be bothered to make sure their kids get the flu vaccine this year.
CNN cites one poll from the study, where 1,977 parents with one or more kids were asked about the flu shot: 48 percent said they usually follow “the recommendations of their child’s health care provider” and 21 percent said they “did not remember their health care provider making a recommendation about their child receiving the flu shot.”
Sarah Clark, co-director of the C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital National Poll on Children’s Health at the University of Michigan, told CNN, “To me, the biggest takeaway is that there is a group of parents who look like they have a gap in expert guidance around whether kids should get flu vaccines, specifically whether their kid should get flu vaccine.” In that case, some parents’ reasoning could extend beyond simply not wanting to vaccinate—it could be due to a lack of access, or health insurance, or any number of factors. When in doubt, and able: ask a medical professional.
According to NBC, U.S. child flu deaths hit a record high last year: 172 kids died across all 50 states, with the CDC reporting that “approximately 80 percent of these deaths occurred in children who had not received a flu vaccination this season.” While no one’s saying the flu shot is perfect, it’s still by and large the most effective way to prevent the flu.
In short: Just vaccinate your kids and yourselves already, damn.