Why should I care about influenza immunization?
Each year in the US, influenza causes approximately 20,000 hospitalizations and nearly 100 deaths in children. Influenza can also worsen chronic health conditions such as asthma and can lead to serious medical complications, including pneumonia and bronchitis. However, with annual influenza vaccination, healthcare professionals can help keep children healthy and increase vaccination awareness among parents and family members.
According to a survey by the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases (NFID), a strong recommendation from a pediatrician or other healthcare professional would make nearly 3 in 4 parents more interested in vaccinating their child against influenza.
As a healthcare professional, it is up to you to start the “influenza” dialogue regarding annual influenza vaccination recommendations. It is your duty to provide parents and caregivers with the information they need to make an informed choice – the choice to have their children vaccinated against the leading cause of vaccine-preventable death in the US. It is also important to set an example to parents by getting vaccinated yourself and making sure that your office staff is vaccinated each year.
Patients look to their healthcare professional as a trusted source of information. The materials provided in this section contain current and accurate influenza-related information.
UPDATE: The updated recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) regarding the use of seasonal influenza vaccines is available at: Prevention and Control of Seasonal Influenza with Vaccines, 2018-2019. Routine annual influenza vaccination is recommended for all persons age 6 months and older who do not have contraindications. A licensed, recommended, and age-appropriate vaccine should be used.