Flu vaccination is recommended as an effective preventative measure against the flu, yet many parents believe getting flu shots for their children is unnecessary. Lead author of the study Dr. Scott Field said, “The first and most common reason could encompass a belief that risk for contracting influenza is low in their family as well as that the vaccine offers little protection.”
During the 2012/2013 flu season, 131 parents were questioned about their children over the age of nine months to 18 years of age. The researchers asked about the children’s flu history, flu vaccination history, reasons for skipping a flu shot, and vaccination plans for their children for the next season.
The three common reasons for not vaccinating a child were: believing such vaccination was not needed, fear of possible side effects, and forgetting or not getting around to it.
The flu can lead to hospitalizations and even deaths, but it is preventable and the easiest way to protect oneself against the flu is by getting vaccinated. As of now, the CDC recommends flu vaccination to anyone over the age of six months.
Dr. Field concluded, “A reason rarely discussed in the medical literature relating to why many parents do not think influenza vaccines are needed is the infrequency with which many individuals and families experience influenza firsthand.”