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Why Vaccinating Kids Matters for Their Health and the Community

Posted on February 12, 2024
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We all want a healthier and safer community for our families. At Families Fighting Flu, we believe that ensuring every child receives their flu shot is critical to making that happen. As we continue to navigate the health challenges posed by the 2023-24 flu season, it’s clear that prioritizing preventive measures is necessary, particularly when it comes to the youngest in our families. Below, we discuss why vaccinating kids matters, not only for their health but also for the well-being of the broader community.

Flu Shots Protect the Vulnerable

Parents and guardians can play a major role in advocating for their children’s well-being by ensuring they receive their flu shot annually. The flu can be especially severe for children, leading to complications such as severe breathing problems, pneumonia, and even death. Timely vaccination is a key to safeguarding their health. 

Vaccinating children against the flu also goes beyond their protection—it contributes to the concept of “community immunity.” When a significant portion of a community is immunized, the spread of the virus is hindered, protecting those who are more vulnerable, such as the elderly and individuals with compromised immune systems. Vaccinating our children essentially works as a shield that protects not just the young ones but also the entire community.

Reducing School Absenteeism

Flu-related absenteeism can have a big impact on schools and families. Vaccinating children reduces the likelihood of widespread flu outbreaks in schools so that kids can have a more consistent and uninterrupted learning environment. Families with children also benefit by avoiding the disruptions caused by flu-related illnesses and the subsequent need for work absences.

To help you share the facts about flu with others, we offer educational materials and social media graphics available as free downloadable files, and many can be ordered as hard copy materials for doctors’ offices, healthcare clinics, schools, and other important places within your community. View our sharable materials here.

Lead by Example to Inspire Lifelong Health Habits

Teaching children the importance of vaccination sets the foundation for lifelong health habits. When you make annual flu shots a routine part of your kids’ healthcare you empower them to take an active role in their well-being, creating a positive ripple effect for generations to come.

Find a Flu Shot Near You

Numerous healthcare providers, pharmacies, and community clinics offer flu vaccinations. To make it even more convenient to get a flu shot, you can use this online tool on Vaccines.gov to find where to get a flu shot location near you. 

According to the CDC, most healthcare insurance plans cover the annual flu vaccine as preventive care and vaccination is often available at no or low cost to people who do not have insurance.

  • If your child is insured, most healthcare insurance plans cover flu vaccination at no cost to you. Check that your provider takes your child’s insurance.
  • The flu vaccine is also available at no cost for eligible children through the CDC’s Vaccines for Children (VFC) Program. A child must qualify for this program. If your child is not insured, ask your child’s doctor if they are a VFC provider or you can contact your state or local health department to find a VFC provider.

Vaccinating kids against the flu is critical to promoting individual health and building a resilient, protected community. Instilling the importance of flu shots early on helps pave the way for a healthier future where flu-related deaths are a thing of the past. Let’s prioritize prevention, protect our children, and collectively work toward ending flu deaths.

Learn More About Families Fighting Flu

Families Fighting Flu (FFF) , a national, nonprofit advocacy organization dedicated to honoring loved ones who have suffered serious medical complications or died from influenza, commemorates 20 years of advocacy protecting children, families, and all communities from the flu. Our 20th anniversary is a testament to our dedication and enduring efforts to protect families. It is also a sobering reminder that we are not done yet. 

In sharing personal stories, FFF strives to increase awareness about the seriousness of the flu, reduce the number of hospitalizations and deaths each year, drive up vaccination rates for everyone six months and older, and encourage symptomatic individuals to get tested and receive appropriate treatment. Learn more about our mission and resources here so that you can empower your family to stay healthy this flu season.

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