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Most parents are unaware of the flu vaccine This year is more important


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In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, more important than ever influenza I was vaccinated this year, but only one in three parents knew this.

In addition, less than half of parents said their children’s regular healthcare providers strongly recommended influenza vaccination this year. However, the investigator said that did not mean that healthcare providers and public health authorities did not give this advice to parents.

Health officials continue to encourage people to be vaccinated, but because everything else is happening in the United States right now, “the message hasn’t been communicated,” said the CS Mott Children’s Hospital National Poll. Director Sarah Clarke MPH said.Child health, said Medscape Medical News..

“We need to get our parents to understand why this year,” said Clark, a pediatric research scientist at CS Mott Children’s Hospital in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

Ipsos Public Affairs, LLC conducted a poll on behalf of the hospital in August 2020.

The company “conducted a survey into a randomly selected stratified adult group (n = 2027), parents with at least one child between the ages of 0 and 18 living in a household,” the report author wrote. I am.The survey results are Published online September 28th.

Ipsos chose adults from its web-enabled Knowledge Panel, which closely reflects the US population. The 1992 parent sample size may seem small, but it is “a good overall scientific expression. [United States]”Clark said.

“This year is not a normal year”

“Fortunately, the percentage of parents who say their children are more likely to get the flu vaccine this year is about the same as we and others have found in the last few years,” Clark explains. did.

The problem is that this year is not a normal year, she continued. “[W]What we really need to see is that this year is more important, so an increasing proportion of parents say they plan to vaccinate their children this year. “

Two-thirds of respondents said their children will be vaccinated against the flu this year. 49% said it was “very likely”. And 19% said they were likely to do so.

Adolescent parents are slightly less likely to say they plan to have their children vaccinated against the flu. Of those planning vaccinations, 73% have children aged 2-4, 70% have children aged 5-12, and 65% have children aged 13-18.

Almost all parents (96%) who received the flu vaccine last year will be vaccinated this year. Only 28% of parents whose children were not vaccinated last year reported that they plan to have their children vaccinated against the flu this year.

Clark said parents who have a habit of getting their children vaccinated against the flu are more likely to say that their children will be vaccinated. This information is most needed by parents who do not plan to vaccinate their children.

More than one-third (34%) of parents say it is more important for their children to get the flu vaccine this year than in other years. 8% believe it is not so important and 58% say it is about as important.

Less than half (44%) of parents reported that their children’s regular healthcare providers strongly recommend the flu vaccine this year, and 23% said they recommend it. One-third of parents couldn’t remember the provider who recommended the flu vaccine to their children this year.

As seen in previous studies, the strength of clinician recommendations correlated with parents’ plans to vaccinate their children. Of those who said their child’s healthcare provider strongly recommends the vaccine this year, 92% plan to vaccinate their children, while 62% of parents recommending the vaccine this year. 40% of those who couldn’t remember the recommended provider.

About 32% of parents say their children are unlikely to get the flu vaccine this year. Of these, 42% are concerned about possible side effects, 40% think they are unnecessary, 32% think they are ineffective, and 14% think their children are infected with COVID-19 in the medical setting. I’m worried about the possibility. Nine percent of parents cited fear of needles in their children and resistance to vaccination.

“This is a huge number of doctor-oriented issues.”

“This is a very doctor-oriented issue,” Clark said. Medscape Medical News..

“This year is a year in which child healthcare providers need to break out of that pattern and reach out to patients who are not scheduled for fall preventive visits,” she added.

This may include sending reminder postcards, leaving messages using the phone’s automatic dialer, and sending messages to your provider’s voicemail.

Clark said most parents listen when providers give them a strong message. She does not believe that low vaccine acceptance means that doctors do not recommend vaccination of children. But parents haven’t heard the message that it’s even more important this year.

“Our usual way of talking about vaccines misses a lot of people just because the timing isn’t optimal,” she continued.

For example, for infants, office visits are scheduled at regular intervals, but as the child grows older, these visits become less frequent and are often scheduled for birthdays or early school year.

Doctors often focus on what is happening on the current visit and the vaccinations the child receives that day. Therefore, parents of children who make these visits in the fall and winter during the flu season are more likely to hear this information than parents of children who make these visits at other times when the flu is not central.

Some parents are hesitant to take their child to the clinic for COVID-19, so the doctor’s practice can change the procedure to address this concern. For example, Clark suggested that they could offer drive-through vaccination or other options for vaccination outside the office.

According to Clark, doctors made many changes to their practice to provide safer care during the pandemic, and they are amazed at all the positive changes they have made to provide safer care. maybe.

Clark does not disclose the relevant financial relationship.

Troy Brown is award-winning Medscape Contributors with special interests in infectious diseases, women’s health, and pediatrics.

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