Child Protection from Infections in Spotlight for Flu Awareness Week
Thursday, December 9, 2021
SPOKANE, Wash. -- It is National Influenza Vaccination Week, and one Washington doctor is spotlighting the importance of protecting children from the virus this season.
Dr. Melissa Quisano, a family medicine specialist at Kaiser Permanente in Spokane, said the spread of flu goes up in winter as people gather for the holidays.
"Unfortunately, the more we gather in enclosed spaces, the more we share our germs," Quisano explained. "We want to protect ourselves and protect our loved ones, so it's definitely important to get those vaccines before you're gathering with family or even larger crowds."
Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention showed the number of flu shots administered to children younger than four last year was down from previous years. The number of shots decreased almost 14% for kids ages six months to 23 months, and nearly 12% for children ages two to four in 2020.
Quisano pointed out a similar decline in children getting immunizations is likely because families were asked to stay home during the pandemic, noting she is happy they listened.
"Except that the unfortunate result of this is that a lot of those children maybe missed their usual well-child checks, which is when we most often will give their vaccinations, their immunizations," Quisano lamented. "A lot of children missed their regularly scheduled immunizations as well."
According to the Washington State Department of Health, routine vaccines like Tdap (Tetanus, Diphtheria, Pertussis), which is required to enter seventh grade in the state, were down 11% last year. Shots for meningococcal disease were down more than 8% for 11- and 12-year-olds.
Quisano added she understands people have a lot of questions about vaccines.
"I just encourage families, if they have any questions, to please feel free to reach out to their primary-care clinician," Quisano advised. "We're happy to answer those questions."
get more stories like this via email
Frustrated environmental and clean-energy advocates say after four long years of debate and compromise, regulators sent Arizona back to the starting …
When North Dakotans head out to cast their ballots later this year, there is a chance some will do so in a voting center and not a designated …
South Dakota continues to grapple with its low ranking when it comes to paying schoolteachers, but the issue is getting focus in 2022, including a …
Health and Wellness
Washington state lawmakers are considering a measure to limit the growing cost of prescription drugs. Senate Bill 5532 would establish a …
The Maryland Air National Guard is considering a proposal to establish airspace where military planes would fly as low as 100 feet over the Pennsylvan…
The state of Illinois is allocating nearly a quarter-billion dollars to support new downstate transit and ports projects. Roughly half will go …
Health and Wellness
Advocates and faith groups are calling for more investments in harm reduction across the state, as new provisional data shows overdose deaths have …
More than 300 Kentucky farmers participated in the state's Farms to Food Banks program last year, and at a recent virtual rally, state officials said …