Majority Of Children Who Died Due To Flu Were Not Vaccinated, New Study Finds

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Apr 07, 2017 10:56 AM EDT

Flu vaccination does not grant a complete protection against the virus. However, kids who are vaccinated are less likely to die from the infection as compared to their non-vaccinated counterparts, a new study has found.

A team of researchers studied the death of almost 300 children in the United States due to flu from 2010 to 2014. According to the findings published in the journal Pediatrics, a majority of the kids were not vaccinated against the virus.

The latest study claimed that some deaths in children due to the virus can be avoided only if they took a flu shot. The children who died were between six months and 17 years old, Brendan Flannery, the study's lead author and an epidemiologist at the Centers for DiseaseControl and Prevention said. They were all diagnosed with flu virus infection before their deaths or were detected through autopsy, he added.

The researchers also found that 26 percent of children who died underwent flu vaccination before they got sick due to the virus, Live Science reported. They noted that 153 children in the study were known of high-risk health conditions such as asthma, heart disease or blood disorders. These conditions induced the kids’ risk of flu complication, which may have caused their hospitalization or death. From that group, 31 percent of them were vaccinated.

Children who were vaccinated against the flu and with high-risk conditions have 50 percent less risk of death due to the disease. On the other hand, kids with the absence of high-risk conditions have almost two-thirds less possibly to die from flu virus infection. These were the researchers’ ultimate findings from the new study.

Death rate varies depending on the severity of the condition each flu season. Furthermore, children with high-risk health conditions are recommended to be vaccinated against the flu to prevent flu-related complications and death, the researchers said.

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