Sarah Swenson (SD & Balliol 2011) Co-Publisher "Give Flu Vaccines a Shot"

As pediatricians who care for kids infected with influenza every winter, we look to fall with some degree of trepidation. As pumpkin spice hits the stores and leaves change, our first influenza cases emerge, ultimately affecting thousands of children throughout the season. This year, the flu season will overlap with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, with the potential to cause more illness, missed days of school and work, and hospitalizations. While we eagerly await a vaccine against COVID-19, we are fortunate to have a safe and effective vaccine against influenza.

Influenza is the leading cause of death from a vaccine-preventable illness in the U.S. We care for the full array of children with influenza, from those who have mild symptoms that can be treated in clinics and at home to life-threatening disease that results in children needing breathing tubes in intensive care units. While even healthy kids can get severely ill from influenza, children under age 5 and those with other medical conditions are at the highest risk of needing to be hospitalized. With our young patients in mind, we enthusiastically vaccinate ourselves, our children, and our families, and we encourage our community to do the same.

Read the full article 'Give Flu Vaccines a Shot'.