Parents don't consider flu vaccines

Aug. 22, 2008 at 12:39 PM
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ROCHESTER, N.Y., Aug. 22 (UPI) -- Parents of U.S. teens say vaccination ranks next to last among things they can do to help protect their children against influenza, a survey indicates.

Although U.S. public health officials say an annual flu vaccination is the single best way to prevent the flu, the survey showed that parents ranked it nearly equally -- 56 percent -- with practices such as taking vitamins (58 percent) and dressing appropriately for the weather (55 percent).

Although 82 percent of the parents were aware they can vaccinate their child against the flu, 44 percent of parents say their child has ever received an influenza vaccine.

Forty-eight percent say they were extremely or very likely to have their child vaccinated next flu season even after learning about expanded public health guidelines recommending all children 6 months to 18 years of age receive an annual flu vaccine.

In the survey of 952 parents, for those with children not previously vaccinated against the flu, 32 percent said they believe their child doesn't need to be vaccinated against the flu.

The survey was conducted by Harris Interactive on behalf of vaccine maker MedImmune between June 4 and June 19 among 952 U.S. adults age 24 and older with a child ages 8 to 17 living in their household, and for whom they are the parent or guardian.

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