*The following is excerpted from an online article posted on EurekAlert.
The pandemic doesn’t seem to be changing parents’ minds about the importance of the flu vaccine.
It could be a double whammy flu season this year as the nation already faces a viral deadly disease with nearly twin symptoms. And while public health experts have emphasized the importance of people of all ages receiving seasonal flu vaccines during the COVID-19 pandemic, many parents may not be getting that message.
Just a third of parents believe that having their child get the flu vaccine is more important this year, a national poll suggests.
And as schools reopen for the first time since the novel coronavirus outbreak, one in three parents don’t plan to vaccinate children against the flu, according to the C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital National Poll on Children’s Health at Michigan Medicine.
“We may see peaks of flu and COVID-19 at the same time, which could overwhelm the health care system, strain testing capacity, and potentially reduce our ability to catch and treat both respiratory illnesses effectively,” says Mott Poll co-director Sarah Clark.
“Our report finds that even during the pandemic, some parents don’t see the flu vaccine as more urgent or necessary. This heightens concerns about how the onset of flu season may compound challenges in managing COVID-19.”
Children younger than five, and especially those younger than two, are at high risk of developing serious flu-related complications.
The nationally representative Mott Poll report includes 1,992 responses from parents of children age 2-18 years who were surveyed in August.