Earlier this month, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) released guidelines recommending that everyone over the age of 6 months get the flu shot by the end of October. Public health officials have feared that come flu season, hospital beds and emergency services could “quickly extend beyond capacity in communities where coronavirus transmission remains high.”
Despite stark warnings from the medical community, a national poll from Michigan Medicine found that one in three parents don’t plan to have their children vaccinated for flu this Fall.
“Our report finds that even during the pandemic, some parents don’t see the flu vaccine as more urgent or necessary,” said Mott Poll co-director Sarah Clark, M.P.H. “This heightens concerns about how the onset of flu season may compound challenges in managing COVID-19.”
Following the 2019 flu season, which was a record-tying year for the amount of children who died from flu complications, experts are predicting the 2020 flu season to be a bad one. And with the possibility of a “twindemic” looming, the results of not preparing early could be catastrophic.
“As a pediatrician, I am very concerned about the health of children and their families this fall if these two potentially deadly viruses are circulating in the community at the same time,” said Dr. Flor Munoz, lead author of the recommendations, developed by the AAP committee on infectious diseases, in a press release.
According to the AAP, typically about 80% of children who die from the flu are not vaccinated.
It can take some time for the flu vaccine to become activated in your body, so medical professionals are urging the community to get vaccinated now, to ensure the most protection against this year’s virus.