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HEALTH MINUTE: Survey shows 1 in 3 parents won’t vaccinate kids for flu

Published: Sep. 30, 2020 at 6:36 PM EDT
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(CNN) - An annual flu shot is recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for all over the age of 6 months, but many don’t get the vaccine even when there’s no pandemic.

A new poll suggests COVID-19 won’t change that.

“You should get it no later than the end of October. If it’s available now, you should get it now, but don’t wait any beyond October,” said Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

With flu season colliding with COVID-19, and the viruses causing many similar symptoms, health officials are concerned about the strain on the healthcare system this fall and winter.

They’re urging Americans to get their flu shots like never before.

Despite that, one in three parents may not get their child vaccinated for the flu, according to a CS Mott Children’s Hospital poll of nearly 2,000 people.

Those parents expressed concerns about side effects of the flu vaccine or said they believed the flu shot isn’t necessary or effective, but the CDC says the single best way to prevent the flu is to get vaccinated each year.

In comparison, 96 percent of parents who got their children vaccinated in 2019 said they intended to do the same this year.

The CDC and other health officials says a flu shot during the pandemic is more important than ever.

“Sometimes people wait because they feel, ‘Well, maybe the immunity will wane as we get into the winter,’ and then you wind up that flu comes and you’re not protected and you wind up getting the flu,” Fauci said.

The CDC says children younger than 5, especially those 2 and younger, are at high risk of developing serious flu-related complications.

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