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According to the recent National Family Health Survey, as many as 72.5% of children in the age group of 12 to 23 months, considered an important period in a child s development and immunity-building, were not getting immunized on time. Recently, Abbott conducted a perception survey on influenza to assess the usage and attitudes towards influenza immunization.The survey revealed that 40% of mothers do not take flu seriously. Moreover, 37% of pregnant females across the urban cities do not take a flu vaccine during pregnancy, in spite of doctor s recommendation. Here is what expert has to say to every parent about flu in children. Also read how long does a viral fever last?
Dr Uday Ananth Pai, Pediatrician, Mumbai, said, In spite of the existing prevalence and documented importance of influenza immunization, uptake of flu vaccines is not too high. Young babies over 6 months fall in the high-risk category of getting flu, and hence advice is to vaccinate them on time and annually. Children younger than 5 years are at high risk of serious influenza complications. Influenza is a preventable illness and hence parents should consider vaccination to protect kids from flu-related discomfort. Prevention is simpler and more economical than having to undergo the anxiety of the illness and expensive treatment later. Read about vaccines recommended for your child.
Speaking on the survey, Dr Mukesh Gupta, Gynecologist, Mumbai, says Since flu and flu complications are more severe in pregnant women, flu shots are specifically recommended to mothers during pregnancy; even better if given before conception. After childbirth, the Cocooning effect created by all caretakers/family members being vaccinated ensures that the disease is not spread to the little ones, as they cannot be immunised by vaccines in first 6 months. These numbers are serious and pregnant females should consider talking to their doctors before making any such decision.
Raising awareness and encouraging mothers to initiate conversations with their doctors so that they are thoroughly informed about influenza, its symptoms and precautions are key to prevent flu in children. Here's more on facts about seasonal cold and cough.
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