National Foundation for Infectious Diseases Supports 2013 National Influenza Vaccination Week

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The National Foundation for Infectious Diseases (NFID) and the Childhood Influenza Immunization Coalition (CIIC) emphasize need for strong recommendations from all healthcare professionals as a key step to increase annual influenza (flu) vaccine uptake in children.

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About 90 percent of the children who died from influenza last year were not vaccinated.

In support of National Influenza Vaccination Week (December 8 to December 14), the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases (NFID) and the Childhood Influenza Immunization Coalition (CIIC) call on all healthcare professionals to strengthen efforts to educate parents about the importance of annual flu vaccination for children ages 6 months and older.

In the U.S. between October 2004 and September 2012, 830 influenza-related deaths in children under the age of 18 were reported; 169 occurred during the 2012-13 flu season alone. Each year approximately 20,000 children under age 5 are hospitalized from flu-related complications.

“About 90 percent of the children who died from influenza last year were not vaccinated,” said Carol J. Baker, MD, CIIC Chair and Professor of Pediatrics, Molecular Virology and Microbiology at Baylor College of Medicine.

While influenza vaccination rates among children have increased over the past five years, Dr. Baker stresses that more work is needed to ensure all children are fully protected against influenza each and every year. “With flu season upon us, now is a good time for healthcare professionals to make their recommendations loud and clear to parents. Parents need to be reminded every year about influenza vaccination, and research tells us that healthcare professionals have the most influence over their vaccination decisions.”

About the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases

The National Foundation for Infectious Diseases (NFID) is a non-profit, tax-exempt 501(c)(3) organization founded in 1973 dedicated to educating the public and healthcare professionals about the causes, treatment, and prevention of infectious diseases. Created by NFID in 2007, the Childhood Influenza Immunization Coalition (CIIC) is a coalition of more than 30 leading medical, public health, and parent organizations brought together by NFID to help address and improve influenza immunization rates among children. For more information about CIIC, visit http://www.preventchildhoodinfluenza.org.

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