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H1N1 Flu: Are Parents Underestimating Risk to Kids?
Date:9/24/2009

C.S. Mott Children's Hospital National Poll on Children's Health finds less than half of parents plan to have their children vaccinated against H1N1 flu, despite higher disease risk; Hispanic parents more likely to vaccinate

ANN ARBOR, Mich., Sept. 24 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- With schools back in session, H1N1 flu has become more active across the United States -- especially among children. A new vaccine against H1N1 flu -- strongly recommended for kids -- has been tested and is expected to be available in October. But will parents get their children vaccinated?

The latest C.S. Mott Children's Hospital National Poll on Children's Health finds only 40 percent of parents indicate they will get their children vaccinated against H1N1 flu -- while 54 percent of parents indicate they will get their children vaccinated against seasonal flu. Among parents who do not plan to get their children vaccinated against H1N1 flu, 46 percent indicate they are not worried about their children getting H1N1 flu, while 20 percent believe H1N1 flu is not serious.

"This information about parents' plans to vaccinate their kids against H1N1 flu suggests that parents are much less concerned about H1N1 flu than seasonal flu for their kids. That perception may not match the actual risks," says Matthew Davis, M.D., director of the poll and associate professor of pediatrics and internal medicine in the Child Health Evaluation and Research Unit at the University of Michigan Medical School.

The poll also shows vaccination plans for H1N1 flu differ by racial/ethnic groups. More than half of Hispanic parents plan to have their children vaccinated against H1N1 flu, compared to only 38 percent of white parents and 30 percent of black parents.

Vaccination plans of Hispanic parents may reflect a higher perceived risk in the Hispanic community, given the well
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SOURCE U-M C.S. Mott Children's Hospital
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