Published: Wed, November 21, 2018
Medical | By

Poll suggests one-third of parents skipping flu vaccine for their children

Poll suggests one-third of parents skipping flu vaccine for their children

A poll conducted by C.S. Mott Children's Hospital in Ann Arbor, MI, found that 34 percent of parents planned on forgoing flu shots for their kids for the 2018-2019 Winter season.

Of parents polled, 48 percent said they usually followed the recommendations of their child's health care provider when making choices about the flu vaccine.

The online poll, which was administered in October, looked at 1,977 parents who had at least one child, whether parents would get their children the flu vaccine and their reasoning, among other things.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 80% of the children who died had not been vaccinated.

The Mott Poll, conducted in October, surveyed almost 2,000 parents of a nationally representative sample on their attitudes and intentions towards flu vaccination.

The CDC said last flu season, 57.9 percent of children between the ages of 6 months and 17 years received flu vaccines, less than the year before.

Ms. Cook said the responsibility falls on the medical community to better explain and connect with parents about the importance of flu vaccination for children.


"There appears to be an echo chamber around flu vaccine", said Sarah.

"It's important to acknowledge that for some parents, child health providers are not the sole influence, or even the primary influence, on decisions about the flu vaccine", explained Sarah. Parents who opted out reported seven times as many sources opposing the vaccine as supporting it.

Other parents may encounter a broader range of information and opinions, but selectively remember only those that support their decision on whether their child will get flu vaccine.

Last flu season, 179 children died, and hundreds more were hospitalized because of the illness.

She said the top reasons for parents choosing not to get their kids the vaccine was concern about side effects, that they thought it didn't work or that their child was healthy enough not to need the shot, according to the network.

The researchers say the results hold a lesson for doctors: Many parents don't rely exclusively on them for medical advice, and accurate information about the shot needs to be distributed by some other means in "language parents can understand".

"For these families, we need to explore other mechanisms to convey accurate information and allow parents to hear a more balanced viewpoint", Clark said. Twenty-one percent said they don't recall their doctor making a recommendation and two percent said the flu vaccine wasn't advised at all.

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