Experts Warn of Spike in Children’s Flu Cases Amidst Low Vaccination Rates

As we approach this year’s flu season, it’s time to prioritise timely vaccinations for your children. Recent data indicates an 18% increase in influenza cases among children aged six months to five years, from 2022 to 2023. In this age group alone, case numbers escalated to 34,461 last year, compared to 29,238 the previous year. Many people underestimate the risks of influenza for children. Almost one in three parents are unaware of the potential serious illness it can cause in children.

Surprisingly, only 28% of Australia’s pediatric population received the potentially life-saving vaccination. In contrast, around half of eligible infants and children under five were vaccinated in 2020.

Children bore a disproportionate impact from the flu in the previous year, with those aged 5–9 years having the highest influenza notification rates, followed by children aged 0–4. The 2023 Australian Influenza Surveillance Report revealed that out of 39 deaths in admitted patients with confirmed flu, nine were children under the age of 16.

Despite the availability of vaccines for children, uptake has significantly declined post-COVID-19. If the pattern of increased infections and lower vaccination rates continues, experts believe 2024 could witness a substantial flu year, leading to more hospital admissions, ICU cases, and preventable deaths.

Heathershaw’s doctor flu clinic will open soon. Please watch this space for appointment-related announcements.

Opinions or facts expressed within the content have been sourced from various news sources. While every effort has been taken to source them accurately, the pharmacy, its owners, staff or other affiliates do not take any responsibility for errors in these sources. Patients should not rely on the facts or opinions in the content to manage their own health, and should seek the advice of an appropriate medical professional. Further, the opinions or facts in the content do not reflect the opinions and beliefs of the pharmacy, its owners, staff or other affiliates. 

Related Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *