Flu took a heavy toll on children this season:
Influenza (flu) vaccine strains have changed for the 2012-2013 influenza season. Both the influenza A (H3N2) and B antigens differ from the 2010-2011 and 2011-2012 seasonal vaccine.
Annual influenza immunization is recommended. It is critical to continue immunization throughout the influenza season, whether or not influenza is circulating (or has circulated) in the community.
The CDC says 105 children died of the flu this season, emphasizing the importance of vaccinating everyone older than 6 months.
Last year, a very mild year for flu, 34 children died, but this year, the deaths were more in line with a typical year. Flu seasons vary greatly in severity. In the 2003-2004 season, 153 children died, according to CDC numbers. The death toll is up to date as of March 16, but Michael Jhung, a medical officer in CDC's Influenza Division, said more deaths are possible: "Flu season is winding down but it's not over."
Of the children who died, 90% had not been vaccinated against the flu. "That's a remarkable number," Jhung said. Though this season's flu vaccine was not particularly effective in those over 65, it worked well in children, he said… [Read More]
Whooping Cough (Pertussis) Vaccine: Pertussis (also known as whooping cough) is a serious, easily transmitted infection that causes severe and violent coughing episodes. The infection primarily affects adolescents and adults, but it can cause severe morbidity and death to young infants who are too young to be immunized. It is often transmitted by family members. In the policy statement, “Additional Recommendations for Use of Tetanus Toxoid, Reduced-Content Diphtheria Toxoid, and Acellular Pertussis Vaccine (Tdap)."
CDC study: Recommended Vaccines for Children do not increase risk of Autism: A new study has found no link between the number of vaccines given to children on one day or in the first 2 years of life and autism spectrum disorder (ASD). The study, published online in the Journal of Pediatrics , March 29, 2013, can help allay parent concerns about perceptions that the current vaccine schedule advocates too many vaccines too soon in a child’s life. The study further strengthens the conclusion of a 2004 comprehensive review by the Institute of Medicine (IOM) that there is no relationship between certain vaccine types and autism. For more information on vaccine safety and autism, see: http://www.cdc.gov/vaccinesafety/Concerns/Autism/Index.html.
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