Pediatricians recommend it is more important than ever to get vaccinated for the flu, even amid the coronavirus pandemic.
What You Need To Know
- American Academy of Pediatrics: vaccinate kids by October
- Flu, coronavirus symptoms can mimic each other
- Doctors say flu is deadlier in children than COVID-19
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends parents vaccinate their children by the end of October. The academy also recommends everyone six months of age and older get an annual influenza vaccine.
About 80 percent of children who die from the flu are not vaccinated, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Over the past flu season, almost 200 children and teenagers died of complications from the flu.
“When you have two diseases like flu and COVID occurring at the same time, it’s going to cause tremendous confusion, especially to doctors and everyone trying to diagnose what’s going on,” said Dr. Michael Muszynski, a pediatric infectious disease specialist on the COVID-19 Expert Panel for AAP’s Florida chapter.
Flu and COVID-19 symptoms can mimic each other, but young children are at a higher risk of severe illness from influenza.
“Overwhelming the medical system with two bad diseases that could put people in the hospital is a concern of all physicians in infectious disease at the moment,” Muszynski said.
The flu season typically lasts through the fall and winter.
Sign up now for one of our newsletters that will show up in your inbox every weekday at 1 p.m. The newsletters highlight the most important stories of the day that you need to know for your area.