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40 Percent Of Kids Don’t Get The Flu Shot & State Restrictions Aren’t Helping

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Flu season is upon us, and parents are bracing for their little ones to get sick. But the truth is that most kids can avoid the flu and all the suffering that goes with it if they get a flu shot. That is something that many parents tend to forget, but doctors stress that most of the time a simple vaccine is effective and worth a few tears, especially since the flu can be deadly for some of the most vulnerable people out there, including children.

Even though health officials have tried to make it so that it is easy to protect yourself from the flu virus, only about 40 percent of children get an annual vaccine — that's less than half of U.S. kids getting protected even though last year 143 kids died from the flu.

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Considering the fact that kids are also the people who are the worst about spreading germs, health officials say that the vaccination of kids is one of the best ways to control disease. But health policies in many states make it harder for parents to actually get their kids vaccinated.

Boy getting vaccination
Credit: PBS

According to CNN, one of the biggest hurdles is the ability for kids to get their flu shots at the local pharmacy. Since the practice of letting pharmacists give shots, a lot more adults have gotten the shots themselves, but the convenience isn't passed along to kids.

In Florida, Connecticut and Vermont, kids are restricted from pharmacy flu clinics, and in another 30 states there are restrictions that make it really difficult. In an example from the article, one Georgia mom wanted to take her kids to a pharmacy a mile from her house instead of taking off half a day of work to drive to the pediatrician's office and wait to get a vaccine there. But her kid's doctor had to sign off on a prescription, and they balked about having anyone other than the doctor give the shot.

Last year, New York changed its law to allow anyone over 2 to get their vaccine at a pharmacy, and in four months, 9,000 more kids got a shot.

We understand that people want to be careful with children's health, but making it inconvenient to get a flu shot doesn't make it better for anyone. That's just making it harder on parents and putting everyone's health at risk.

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