Poll finds 34 percent of U.S. parents don't plan on getting their kids a flu shot

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FLINT (WJRT) (11/20/2018) - Thirty-four percent of parents say their child probably will probably not get the flu vaccine this year.

That's according to a nationwide poll conducted by C.S. Mott Children's Hospital in October.

"That does surprise me, because I would think that you would want your children to be at their best health," said mother of four Theresa Miller.

Jordan Senger, a father of two, wasn't surprised by the findings while Rita Martinez, a mother of four, asked why parents wouldn't want a flu shot for their children.

In deciding whether to get a flu shot, 48 percent of parents said they usually follow the recommendation of their child's health care provider while 38 percent said they make their own decision based on what they read or hear.

"There's a group of parents, who are choosing not to get flu vaccines for their child and they're doing it without adequate information," said Sarah Clark, a co-director of the poll.

Parents who said their child would get the flu vaccine this year reported four times more positive sources than negative about the flu vaccine while parents who said their child would not get the flu vaccine reported seven times more negative sources than positive.

That presents a battle for health care providers given that last year 180 kids died from influenza.

While physicians assistant Colette Clayton said she's not surprised to hear that one-third of parents polled said their child is unlikely to get a flu shot this season, she is concerned.

"I do see pushback here," she said.

Clayton says that's due to misinformation.

"They feel that it's not going to protect them -- that it doesn't work this year," she said. "You get the flu from the flu shot, you do not."

Clayton recommends everyone get the flu vaccination due to the risk of death or serious complications from influenza.

"Anyone 6 months or older should be getting it, including people with chronic conditions, and pregnant moms," Clayton said.

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