New Report Touches Off Debate Over Giving Children Flu ShotsAired January 27, 2000 - 1:40 p.m. ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ANDRIA HALL, CNN ANCHOR: In today's health news, flu shots for children: A report this week in "The New England Journal of Medicine" has touched off a debate on whether children should get flu shots.
CNN medical correspondent Elizabeth Cohen reports.
ELIZABETH COHEN, CNN MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Every fall, Dr. Kathleen Neuzil gets flu shots for her three children. But why does she do it, considering that current health recommendations say healthy children like hers don't need the flu vaccine?
DR. KATHLEEN NEUZIL, UNIVERSITY OF WASHINGTON: I think it's important because influenza is a potentially preventable disease.
COHEN: Experts say the shot is safe. It occasionally causes mild side effects in children, but getting the flu can be devastating, especially for babies. In fact, Dr. Neuzil has written a study in "The New England Journal of Medicine" concluding that one out of every 150 healthy babies under age 1 is hospitalized for flu complications every year. That means healthy babies end up in the hospital as frequently as elderly people, who are routinely told to get flu shots.
NEUZIL: The reason that's important is because I don't think it was well-recognized in this country that young children are a high- risk group from influenza, and it will make us think about ways that we can possibly prevent influenza in these infants.
COHEN: An editorial in the journal entitled "Is it time to give influenza vaccine to healthy infants?" says more studies need to be done. The authors note that children already receive up to 16 injections by the time they're 2 and that it's unclear how well the flu shot works in children.
There are also economic reasons the flu shot isn't routinely given to healthy children: It would be expensive, given the size of the group.
(on camera): So even with this new study, the current recommendations still stand: Flu shots are recommended only for children with certain health problems, such as asthma or diabetes, but there's nothing wrong with parents getting flu shots for their healthy children, too. Elizabeth Cohen, CNN, Atlanta.
TO ORDER A VIDEO OF THIS TRANSCRIPT, PLEASE CALL 800-CNN-NEWS OR USE OUR SECURE ONLINE ORDER FORM LOCATED AT www.fdch.com
|CLICK HERE FOR TODAY'S TOPICS AND GUESTS|
CLICK HERE FOR CNN PROGRAM SCHEDULES
|Back to the top||
© 2001 Cable News Network. All Rights Reserved.|
Terms under which this service is provided to you.
Read our privacy guidelines.