If my screaming toddler is any indication, no one enjoys getting shots at the doctor's office. Possibly because of that, the flu vaccine is one such shot that you'll see some people avoiding. Besides the fact that it hurts, and you might be sore for a few days after, some people worry that the flu vaccine won't work or isn't as effective as they would hope. However, a recent report from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) shows that children are more protected from the shot than previously thought.
Even though the flu vaccine is overall only 36 percent effective, for children between the ages of 6 months to 8 years, it is markedly more impactful. The CDC estimates that by getting the flu shot, children can reduce their risk of getting sick by half.
Considering that children are especially at risk of getting sick, thanks in part to exposure to different pathogens and because their immune systems are still developing, getting the flu shot is one way to seriously protect them from a dangerous and deadly flu strain. The CDC numbers as of Feb. 10 showed that 84 kids have died so far this year from the flu, and since the flu season is still expected to rage on for a few more weeks (possibly until May!), not getting the flu shot could have devastating consequences for children.
Thankfully it's not too late to get the vaccine. While it is far from perfect, it still greatly decreases the risk that a child will get sick, and if they do get sick, it can help to lessen the symptoms and shorten the amount of time they are ill. Between doing nothing and reducing the risk of anything dangerous by half, it seems like taking action should be the clear winner. When it comes to the safety of our children, and other people's children, a vaccine could quite literally save a life.