Flu Vaccination Can Save Lives Of Children: Study

A new study advocates that vaccinating children is beneficial and may be instrumental in saving their life.

Vaccination for children has its share of controversies all around the world. While doctors say this method is necessary to protect people from many harmful diseases, others question the effectiveness, necessity, and safety of the same.

This argument has led some communities to disown the vaccination practice completely, leading to massive epidemics and high death rates in those communities.

The latest study contradicts the anti-vaccination argument. It reveals that vaccinated children have a lesser chance of dying due to flu vis-à-vis non-vaccinated kids.

Flu Shots Help Children Survive?

The study was conducted by researchers at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The CDC researchers revealed that although vaccination does not provide ultimate protection against viruses, it has been observed that vaccinated kids are less likely to die from flu infections.

To come to this conclusion, the researchers analyzed data taken from four flu seasons, starting from 2010 to 2014. It was discovered that flu vaccination was instrumental in considerably lowering the death risk in children having high-risk medical conditions by 51 percent. Flu vaccination reduced the risk by 65 percent in children with no underlying health conditions.

"Every year CDC receives reports of children who died from the flu. This study tells us that we can prevent more of these deaths by vaccinating more," explained Brendan Flannery, lead author of this study.

CDC Vaccination Study: Method And Findings

Researchers took into consideration 358 influenza-related death cases among children between the ages of 6 months and 17 years, from July 2010 through June 2014.

To determine the results of the study, a case-cohort analysis was conducted. This analysis compared the acceptance of the vaccination on lab-confirmed, influenza-related pediatric death cases in the United States, with projected vaccination coverage amid pediatric cohorts in the country.

At the end of the study, the researchers found that out of the 358 lab-confirmed, influenza-associated death cases, vaccination status was determined for 291 cases. It was also found that only 26 percent of the children were vaccinated.

"Among 153 deaths in children with underlying high-risk medical conditions, 47 (31%) were vaccinated. VE among children with high-risk conditions was 51% (95% CI, 31% to 67%), compared with 65% (95% CI, 47% to 78%) among children without high-risk conditions," stated the researchers in the study.

The researchers also revealed that pediatric deaths owing to flu ranged from 37 covering 2011 to 2012, to 171 in 2012 to 2013.

The study was published in the journal Pediatrics on April 3.

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