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National Foundation for Infectious Diseases (NFID) Survey: Parents More Flu Aware and More Likely to Get Kids Vaccinated
Date:10/19/2009

BETHESDA, Md., Oct. 19 /PRNewswire/ -- Novel H1N1 influenza has raised parents' awareness and concern about seasonal influenza, increasing the likelihood that they will get their children vaccinated compared to past years, according to a recent national survey commissioned by the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases (NFID). Yet, while mothers view seasonal flu vaccine as safe and effective, significant barriers remain, causing some to leave their children unprotected.

Based on what they have seen, read and heard about novel H1N1 influenza, nearly half (48 percent) of those surveyed say they are now more concerned about seasonal influenza than in the past. More than half (53 percent) of the parents polled say they are interested in seeking seasonal influenza vaccination for their children this season, while only 35 percent say they got all or some of their children vaccinated regularly in the past years. This increase is largely because of the heightened attention around H1N1 that has increased parental awareness of how easily seasonal influenza can spread, its potential to kill, and how vulnerable children can be to the illness. About 100 children die from complications of seasonal flu and 20,000 are hospitalized in the U.S. each year.

"Unfortunately, influenza immunization has not been a health priority for American children," said Carol J. Baker, M.D. Immediate Past President, NFID; Chair, NFID's Childhood Influenza Immunization Coalition; and Professor of Pediatrics, Molecular Virology and Microbiology, Baylor College of Medicine. "While influenza can be a moderate disease, it also kills healthy children and it is impossible to know which children will die."

Influenza Viewed as Family Threat

The vast majority of mothers polled also see influenza as a threat to the entire family. Nearly all (91 percent) worry about the spread of the virus, citing "the whole family getting sick" as t
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SOURCE National Foundation for Infectious Diseases (NFID)
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