Flu shots and preschoolers

Making the world safe for older brothers.

Interesting study in today’s Science Times on flu shots and preschoolers. (Science Times is one of my favorite sites – new edition every Tuesday at NYTimes.com – click on ‘Science’ and it takes you there). Researchers at Boston Children’s Hospital compared preschooler emergency room visits for flu-like symptoms in Boston and Montreal, from 2000-2008 (big study: 114,657 ER visits). Reason for the study: the U.S. started recommending flu shots for 2-4 year-olds in 2006, and Canada didn’t require them until 2010. How big an impact did the U.S recommendation make?

Results? From 2006 on, ER visits for flu-like symptoms in 2- to 4 year-olds were 34% lower in Boston than Montreal. ER visits for 5- to 18 year-olds were 18% lower than in Montreal, too, probably because the older kids were protected by the younger kids’ flu shots. The Science Times blurb doesn’t mention hospitalization and complications (like pneumonia) but I assume those were lower, too.

Leave a comment

Filed under Science, Vaccines

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s