The Tragic Death Of A Healthy Toddler Serves As Reminder Of The Importance Of The Vaccine

November 14, 2017
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Vaccines are a very topical issue with many arguments for and against them. The Flu Vaccine is at the top of the agenda recently after a toddler died from the flu in Orange County last week.

Some may argue that the flu is a common fact of life, but even though that may be the case it is also a very dangerous thing that needs to be addressed.

A mother in California is mourning the loss of her son to the flu last week, a tragic death indeed and proof of just how deadly the flu can be. Authorities are advising everybody who can get the flu vaccine to do so, because put simply, vaccines save lives.

Although it is unclear as to the exact age of the child who died, according to ABC 7 News he was between one and three years old. The child had been otherwise healthy before contracting the flu, he had no underlying health conditions, however, it has been reported that he had not been vaccinated against the flu.

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Children from six months old are able to get the flu vaccine. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) advises anyone over the age of six months to get the flu vaccine. We are all aware that flu is far more dangerous for young children, the elderly and pregnant women and thus the vaccine is recommended for them especially.

Dr. Eric Handler, an Orange County Health Officer released a statement in which he states. “This is an important reminder that influenza can cause serious illness, particularly in the very young. Everyone over six months of age should be vaccinated each year.”

Every year people die of the flu, and last year 101 children died in the U.S. Another mother who now knows how important the vaccine can be is Gwen Zwanziger who lost her 17-year-old daughter, Shannon to the flu in 2014. Shannon had not been vaccinated against flu.

A recent study in Pediatrics has shown that vaccines do work. According to the study, flu vaccination reduces the risk of flu-related death by 51% among high risk children with underlying conditions and by 65% in health children.

Comparison of vaccination coverage among influenza-associated pediatric deaths and comparison cohorts during 4 influenza seasons, according to month of death. Note: Number of deaths shown in parentheses. Coverage estimates for comparison cohorts correspond to month preceding case illness onset. PICTURE: http://pediatrics.aappublications.org

It also reported that three out of four cases of pediatric flu death occurred in children who had not been given or received flu vaccines.

It is also recommended that health adults get vaccinated too as this would reduce their chances of spreading the flu to more vulnerable groups of people. It is also advised that kids and adults alike should stay at home from work or school if they are sick. This simply helps prevent the spread of bacteria and sickness.

Picture: CDC

Health officials are urging all Orange County residents to get vaccinated, especially those who are most at risk. According to ABC 7 News, vaccinations are offered every Wednesday in November at the Public Health Clinic, 1725 W. 17th St. in Santa Ana between the hours of 8-11.30 am and 1-4pm. Then from December 1st they will be offering them from Monday to Friday.

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