Annual flu vaccinations for all kids?

Filed under: Teens, Places To Go, Health & Safety: Babies, In The News, Alcohol & Drugs

The Center for Disease Control may make the recommendation that children be vaccinated against the flu, every year, up to the age of eighteen. Currently, the recommendation is only for kids from six months to five years old, but the new guidelines would expand that range to include all school aged children.

So far, twenty-two children have died from the flu, even though this has been a rather average year. In 2003-2004, more than 150 children died, spurring the CDC to keep a closer eye on flu deaths among children and to consider the changed recommendation. "This has been under consideration for a long time," said CDC spokesman Curtis Allen. "I don't think there are any groups opposed to it, except for the folks concerned about thimerosal."

There are a lot of people who still blame thimerosal for the rise in autism in recent years, even though the preservative was removed from children's vaccines years ago and autism rates continued to increase.

The reason for this decision is a large number of studies that indicate that controlling the flu among kids is the key to controlling it in the adult population. "Kids are the vectors. They bring it home from school and give it to their parents. If you can stop it at school, you stop it at home and break the cycle," said Dr. Frank Malinoski. Malinoski is a Senior Vice President of MedImmune, a company that makes a flu vaccine designed for children. Although MedImmune stands to benefit from new recommendation, so too, I think, do we all. What do you think?

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Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.