- Science & Research
Survey Finds 2 in 3 Parents Get a Preventative Flu Shots Each Year
Families Fighting Flu conducted a survey last fall to see how many people protect themselves and what their perception of prescriptions and preventive medications are when it comes to treating influenza, also known as the flu.
Prioritizing Flu Shots for Children
One hundred percent of surveyed parents stated they plan to have their child receive a flu shot yearly. Yet, the survey found that only 2 in 3 parents actually have their child receive their annual flu vaccine. These results are encouraging as they indicate many parents prioritize vaccinating their children. Ideally, the number of parents who vaccinate their children would increase. Receiving an annual flu shot is the best way to prevent influenza viruses and minimize symptoms if contracted.
Encouraging Beliefs About Medication Effectiveness
We were encouraged to learn that the vast majority of respondents share the common belief in line with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommendations that the annual flu shot is an effective way to protect against the flu and its complications. Approximately 86% of individuals surveyed believe antibiotics are used to treat bacterial infections and that vaccines do help your immune system fight viruses. Unfortunately, only 72% of individuals knew that antivirals are used to treat viruses such as influenza. Understanding the appropriate treatment or medication used to treat different illnesses is critical.
Parents More Likely to Use Expired Medication for Themselves
The majority of parents use over-the-counter medications to prevent or treat the flu. Around two in three used a prescription medication to prevent and treat the flu. Many parents also had their children receive the flu vaccine as another preventative measure.
This survey helped to provide insight into what individuals, including parents, thought about prescriptions and preventative medications with interesting findings related to whether people would take or give their child expired medication.
Parents were less inclined to give their children expired medications than themselves. Thirty-six percent of individuals would not feel comfortable taking expired medication for themselves, while 58% would not feel comfortable giving their children expired medication.
When a medication expired, respondents were more likely to toss it immediately for their children but not themselves. Seventy-one percent of people always check the expiration of their child’s medicine before administering it. It was clear that parents are more conservative and apprehensive when it comes to giving expired medication to their children.
Overall, there was a common theme of parents either opting not to use an expired medication entirely or having significant concerns about potential complications.
Parents want the best prevention and treatment for their children as possible. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has been closely tracking the increased demand of certain medicines due in part to multiple illnesses circulating this winter season. To make sure your children are protected this flu season, consider stocking up before you or your child experience symptoms this year.
Learn More About Fighting the Flu
Families Fighting Flu educates about the seriousness of influenza and the importance of annual vaccination so that no one suffers serious flu complications or death. Learn more about our mission and resources here and empower your family to stay healthy this flu season.