Dallas health officials are urging everyone to get the annual flu vaccine after a federal report shows that most of the children who died of the flu this season did not get a flu shot.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 90 percent of the 105 children who have died from the flu this season nationally were not vaccinated for the flu.
“Prevention works wonders, so we can minimize complications of the flu," said Dr. Christopher Perkins, Dallas County medical director. “The flu vaccine, it's not 100 percent effective. It varies on a person’s background as far as age, underlying or chronic health issues, but if you get the flu shot and get infected with the flu, then you’ll have minimal symptoms as a result if you had not gotten a flu vaccine."
Three children in Dallas County died of flu complications this season. None of them had a flu shot.
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“We encourage everyone to get the flu shot," Perkins said. "Unfortunately some people do not and as a result, you put yourself at increased risk of having complications from the flu”, says Dr. Perkins.
The CDC recommends the flu vaccine for all children 6 months to 18 years of age, but says that nationally, only 52% of them got the vaccine during the 2011-2012 flu season.
The 2012-2013 flu season runs through May.