Crouse Health Online: Wellness is just a click away.
Share Share
  |  Connect with Us: 
large
med
small
Text Size
 

Health News



State Flu Shot Rule for Preschoolers Curbs Kids' Hospitalizations: CDC

State Flu Shot Rule for Preschoolers Curbs Kids' Hospitalizations: CDC

03/06/14

THURSDAY, March 6, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- A Connecticut law requiring flu shots for children entering preschool or daycare has reduced flu-related hospitalizations of young children by 12 percent, according to a new study.

In the United States, Connecticut, New Jersey and New York City are the three places that require a yearly flu shot to stay in daycare or preschool. The Connecticut law took effect in 2010.

"We found that of all the influenza hospitalizations in Connecticut, many fewer were in children 1 to 4 years old after the requirement than before the requirement," said lead researcher Dr. James Hadler, a clinical professor of epidemiology at the Yale School of Public Health.

The jump in flu vaccinations of young children -- to 84 percent in 2012-2013 from about 68 percent in 2009-2010 -- is thought to have caused the decline in hospitalizations, he noted.

"That difference, we feel, has resulted in children attending daycare being better protected against influenza and its severe complications," Hadler said.

Of 11 areas evaluated, Connecticut had the steepest decline in flu hospitalizations of children aged 4 and younger -- a drop of 12 percent between 2007-2008 and 2012-2013, according to the report from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. And the actual rate of hospitalizations for these young children compared to people of other ages was lower in Connecticut than for any of the other regions surveyed.

The report was published in the March 7 issue of the CDC's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

Young children are at particular risk for severe complications from flu, and they readily transmit the infection, Hadler noted.

"Where there are a lot of susceptible people in a small space, like daycare centers and preschools, you have the potential for easy spread of influenza," Hadler said.

"The kids get it, they give it to each other, they all take it home to their families, the families get it and spread it to other people," he added.

By vaccinating these children, you not only prevent children from getting the flu, but also prevent it from spreading in the community, Hadler explained.

And, he noted, flu shots are free for anyone who has health insurance, including Medicare and Medicaid.

For people who aren't insured, the state provides flu shots for free at community health centers, Hadler pointed out.

Dr. Jose Rosa-Olivares, director of the pediatric care center at Miami Children's Hospital in Florida, said efforts such as the one in Connecticut to standardize vaccination might have benefits.

"We know the proven benefit of the flu vaccine, and the more people that get vaccinated, the better it is for the community," he said.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that everyone 6 months and older get a flu shot every year.

Another expert thinks that because the flu vaccine has been shown to be effective, it is reasonable to mandate it around the nation before children are allowed to go into daycare or preschool.

"This is not saying that all kids have to have a flu shot. But if you're going into daycare you better have one because you are putting other kids at risk -- and if you don't like it don't go into daycare," said Dr. Marc Siegel, an associate professor of medicine at NYU Langone Medical Center in New York City.

More information

For more information on flu, visit the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Copyright © 2014 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

OF INTEREST:
 

Latest News

Crouse Hospital Appoints Chief Information Officer
more >

MedEx Bedside Prescription Delivery Service

Free service offers convenience, patient education at discharge.
more >

Weight Loss Surgery

Is it right for you? Attend a free information seminar held twice monthly.
more >

Quality at Crouse

See how Crouse Hospital strives to provide the best in patient care.
more >

Cheer Up That Special Someone

Say get well or welcome a new arrival with a gift purchased right at Crouse.

more >

Make an Online Donation Now

Your donation of any amount helps support Crouse services & programs in a meaningful way.
more >

Shop Online Now

Say get well, thinking of you or welcome new baby with a unique gift from the Crouse Gift Shop.

more >