The back-to-school 2020 version began with most kids serving yet again as a captive virtual instruction audience, but the ties that bind have loosened, allowing many schools to now transition to a hybrid teaching model: typically three days of online learning, two days in-person.

And amid our COVID worries, a multitude of other viruses will be piggybacking on all those returning kids—including those associated with the seasonal flu. And yet, 33% OF PARENTS DON’T INTEND TO GET THEIR CHILDREN THE FLU SHOT THIS FALL!

Reasons—none of them valid—include thinking the shot is ineffective, causes the flu, or worse, results in autism.

This despite the CDC reminder that, since 2010, the flu has caused:

  • 9 to 45 million illnesses;
  • 140 to 810 hospitalizations; and
  • 12,000 to 61,000 deaths per year.

Warns C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital’s Susan Clark, “We may see peaks of flu and COVID at the same time, which could overwhelm the health care system, strain testing capacity, and potentially reduce our ability to catch and treat both respiratory illnesses effectively,”

No wonder, then, says Dr. Robert Czincila, the chief of the Department of Emergency Medicine at Einstein Medical Center Montgomery: “We always advocate that the sooner you can get the vaccine, the better off you are. Personally, I get the flu vaccine the minute it’s released.”

Bottom line for adults and kids, alike: Get the flu shot and mask-up, too!

Please and with thanks, Carol