According to a new study out of the University of Louisville School of Medicine and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, children who have cerebral palsy, epilepsy, or other similar neurological disorders are more likely to experience complications from the influenza virus, though many parents are not aware of the increased risk and therefore are not vaccinating their children. “Our research shows that influenza vaccination in children with [neurological disorders] is comparable to vaccination in healthy children—but both rates are suboptimal,” said study author and pediatric infectious disease specialist at the University of Louisville, Dr. Michael Smith. The study, published online in the journal Vaccine, studied over 2,000 children and concluded that only 50% of kids with neurodevelopmental disorders were scheduled to receive a flu vaccine, while 38% of parents chose not to vaccinate their children, for fear of how the vaccine would affect them.
Additionally, a 2013 study published in Pediatrics found that 33% of reported flu-related deaths among children occurred in kids with neurological disorders. This startling research makes apparent that parents of these high-risk children should take special precautions to safeguard against the potentially deadly virus.
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