Hot Topics     Home and Family     Healthy Kids    

Flu shots more crucial than ever, docs say



Despite the overwhelming advice from the medical community, significant numbers of families are not immunizing this year.

Docs and parents need to discuss pros and cons of flu vaccine


Despite healthcare professionals urging parents to immunize their kids for flu during the Covid-19 pandemic, some families are more reluctant than ever to do so. According to the C.S. Mott Children's Hospital National Poll on Children'sHealth at Michigan Medicine, one in three families do not plan to vaccinate their kids this year.

This worries doctors. They fret about simultaneous peaks of flu and Covid-19 overwhelming the already stressed healthcare system. Testing capacity would be compromised, as would health pros’ ability to catch and treat both respiratory illnesses effectively.

Sarah Clark, co-director of the poll, says, “The important thing this year is to make sure that kids get a flu vaccine even when the family hasn't already established a pattern or a habit of making sure kids get one every year.”

The survey polled 2000 parents of at least one child age 2-18. One third either didn’t believe in a flu shot’s efficacy, or cited concerns about side effects. They also expressed apprehension about bringing their children to a healthcare practitioner’s office. These parents are not sold on the overwhelming majority of doctors’ offices developing extensive protocols to keep visitors – both children and adults – safe.

Clearly, the health crisis of Covid-19 has created chronic fear in households the likes of which our society has not seen since the 1955 polio epidemic or the Spanish Flu of 1918. Unlike in those eras, however, parents now have unprecedented access to information, and, crucially, misinformation.

The Internet is the double-edged sword in the middle of it all. While it is a great connector, it has also become dramatically divisive and anxiety inducing. Meanwhile, the CDC and the WHO occasionally revise Covid-19 safety guidelines. This was especially true in the early days of the pandemic. It’s therefore become harder for some to trust organizations telling them what they should do to be safe, whether it’s regarding Covid-19 or influenza. Internet-based criticisms lobbied at the medical community in general are dizzying, in part because websites and social media provide platforms for emphatic, unregulated dissent, largely from people with no medical training, but significant persuasive powers.

Nevertheless, healthcare professionals are adamant: “There is a lot of misinformation about the flu vaccine," Clark asserts. “But it is the best defense for children against serious health consequences of influenza and the risk of spreading it to others.”



Other articles by HVP News Reporters


  • View eagles in Mongaup

    Mongaup Valley Wildlife Management Area designated a Bird Conservation Area

    Mongaup was designated a Bird Conservation Area because of its unique combination of habitats important to bird species. read more »
  • Hike Smart & Be Prepared

    Safety tips for getting out in the winter months

    NYS DEC offers tips to keep you and your family safe while enjoying the outdoors this winter. read more »
  • Hudson Highlands Nature Museum’s Homeschool Naturalist Program

    Adventure Awaits Students Ages 6-9

    The Hudson Highlands Nature Museum’s Homeschool Naturalist Program for children ages 6-9 has quickly become one of the Nature Museum’s most beloved programs. Originally created out of the needs of families undertaking distance/learning, the program has proved so popular it has remained in place by demand. read more »
  • 5 ways parents can get prepared for student loan repayments

    Tips to help you survive student loan payments

    If you’re a parent who took out a federal student loan for your child and you’ve been taking advantage of the payment freeze as part of the COVID-19 emergency relief, then things are about to change. Starting January 31, 2022, payments will resume and no further extensions are expected. read more »
  • STEAM learning toys for your little ones

    Young kids have fun while learning letters and numbers

    Edx Education teaches letters and numbers through hands-on play read more »
  • DCP offers tips to help New Yorkers stay safe and warm

    NYS Division of Consumer Protection warns New Yorkers of carbon monoxide and fire hazards during extreme cold weather

    The New York State Division of Consumer Protection today issued a consumer alert about the dangers of carbon monoxide and fire hazards in extreme cold weather. The winter months pose the most risk for these hazards—as the temperatures drop, consumers may turn to dangerous heating alternatives to stay warm. Propane heaters, generators, space heaters and/or outdoor grills all pose lethal risks of carbon monoxide poisoning and fire hazards when used improperly. read more »
  • New gardening series with Newburgh Free Library

    Learn about herbs, microgreens, seeds, planning and planting

    Newburgh Free Library has a new gardening series starting with NUFFI, or Newburgh Urban Farm and Food, starting in February! read more »
  • Get up to 4 free at-home Covid-19 tests for your family

    The Biden Administration to Begin Distributing At-Home, Rapid COVID-19 Tests

    The Biden Administration is Buying One Billion Tests to Give to Americans for Free; Online Ordering of a Half-Billion Tests Begins on January 19th; Builds on Significant Actions to Expand Testing Capacity and Increase Access to Free Testing read more »
  • New York’s Going Foam Free in 2022

    NYS is working to keep our environment safe

    In 2020, New York State adopted the nation's strongest statewide ban of expanded polystyrene, single-use foam food and beverage containers, and polystyrene loose fill packaging materials, commonly known as packing peanuts. read more »
  • Sherman Artists Open Studio – This Weekend!

    Painters, photographers, mixed media, jewelers, fused glass, and fabric artists will open their home studios

    This weekend is the very first Sherman Artists First Open Studio! Fifteen local Sherman artists are participating in the Sherman Open Studio Tour on Saturday and Sunday, December 4th and 5th, 2021, 10 am – 4 pm. Painters, photographers, mixed media, jewelers, fused glass, and fabric artists will open their home studios or participate in pop-up studios read more »