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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

heir chief concern, followed by their children missing school (75 percent); their children feeling uncomfortable/miserable (74 percent); and they or their spouse missing work (70 percent).

Misperception that Seasonal Influenza Vaccine is Unnecessary

Most respondents rate the seasonal influenza vaccine's safety (70 percent) and effectiveness (57 percent) as "excellent" or "good." Additionally, more than two thirds (67 percent) say vaccination is important to staying healthy. Despite these positive feelings about seasonal vaccination, one-third of mothers still have no intention of having their children vaccinated this year, and another 10 percent say their decision about vaccination would vary for each child. The top reason they have not vaccinated annually, respondents say, is that they think the vaccine is unnecessary, based on either of the following mistaken beliefs:

  • "A healthy child doesn't need to be vaccinated"
  • "There are other ways to avoid seasonal flu that are just as effective as vaccination"

Another reason parents do not regularly have their children vaccinated for seasonal influenza is that they enjoy freedom of choice they do not have with required childhood vaccines. Slightly more than half (52 percent) say they did not have their children vaccinated for influenza annually because their pediatrician left the decision up to them.

"The survey highlights a tendency among these parents to rely on 'magical' or wishful thinking about seasonal influenza, rather than follow the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and American Academy of Pediatrics recommendation that all children ages six months through 18 years be vaccinated." said Dr. Baker. "While it's encouraging that H1N1 has put seasonal influenza higher on parents' radar, the survey reveals the need for more disease education and for health care providers to emphasize to parents that immunization is the best
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SOURCE National Foundation for Infectious Diseases (NFID)
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