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Influenza Q&A

A short Q&A about Influenza:

Q. “Why do doctors give flu vaccine?”

A. So that fewer people die.

We give influenza vaccine to all people over 6 months old to prevent serious illness, hospitalizations, and death.  Did you know that the flu shot saved 40,000 lives (including 9,000+ children’s lives) in the last 9 years?   Also, an unimmunized person with a milder case of influenza that they don’t even notice can pass the germ to an elderly person or a baby, which can lead to another’s death.  We have reports of severe disease, and teenagers being life-flighted to Children’s hospital, as well as babies hospitalized with influenza locally.   I want to be immunized, so that at least I have some protection (60% is better than zero!) for myself, but also to do my part to protect babies and kids and elderly folks in my community.

Learn more – http://www.cdc.gov/flu/news/flu-vaccine-saved-lives.htm  

Q. “Do I need a flu shot if I already had the flu?”

A. Yes.

First of all, vomiting & diarrhea illnesses are most likely NOT influenza.   The viruses that cause vomiting and diarrhea have nothing to do with influenza or flu shots.   Influenza causes a sudden onset of high fever, muscle aches, and respiratory complaints.   Even if you had bona fide influenza disease, you should still have an influenza vaccine, because late in the season another vaccine-preventable strain of influenza can rage through the country.   The American Academy of Pediatrics has written a great summary of influenza disease for this 2015-2016 season.

Learn more – https://www.healthychildren.org/English/safety-prevention/immunizations/Pages/the-flu-seasonal-influenza-2014-2015.aspx

Study Finds No Evidence That Vaccines Linked To Autism

The Los Angeles Times (9/29, Healy) reports that a new study published in PNAS revealed that “multiple vaccines containing the preservative thimerosal…resulted in none of the key brain or behavioral changes linked to autism.” The study also “administered a wide range of vaccines including the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine–which never contained thimerosal–to rhesus macaques” and “found no evidence of changes in brains or behavior that would implicate either the much-maligned MMR vaccine or a combination of many vaccines as a cause of or contributor to autism.” The results cast further doubt on the supposed link between autism and vaccines, “which has fueled widespread resistance to vaccinations.”

It is so important for parents to understand there is no link between vaccines and autism. — Dr. Frandsen

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