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Amid COVID-19, doctors encourage early pediatric flu shots

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Flu Vaccine

MADISON (WKOW) -- As children return to school, UW Health is urging the public to vaccinate all children age 6 months to 17 years old (and their parents and grandparents) for influenza as soon as possible.

Despite the increased physical distancing and the ongoing virtual learning, children are still vulnerable to influenza. While there is not yet a proven COVID-19 vaccine, UW Health says the influenza vaccines are proven to prevent infection, lessen the severity of the virus and reduce hospitalizations and mortality.

“We are encouraging parents to schedule their child’s influenza vaccine visit as soon as possible, ideally before the end of October, to provide the best and earliest protection,” said James Conway, MD, pediatrician, Immunization Program medical director at UW Health.

Last year was a particularly severe influenza season. As of Feb. 23, 2020, UW Health saw 821 cases of pediatric influenza for the 2019-2020 flu season. This is compared to the 2018-2019 season when UW Health had only confirmed 76 pediatric influenza cases within the same timeframe.

UW Health patients can visit uwhealth.org/flu for more information.

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