One-third of NYC children under 5 did not receive flu vaccine last year: report

flu shot vaccine
To those of you who haven’t yet gotten a flu shot: What are you waiting for?
Credit: Colourbox

Though the number of New York City children receiving the flu vaccine has risen, it still remains far below the national goal, according to a new report from the city’s Department of Mental Health and Hygiene.

Sixty-five percent of children between 6 months and 5 years old have received the influenza vaccine in the past year, up from 59 percent during the 2011-2012 flu season. Despite the increase, officials say the percentage is far below the goal of 80 percent as outlined by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

“More New Yorkers die from influenza and pneumonia than from any other infection,” Health Commissioner Thomas Farley said. “The best way to prevent influenza is to get vaccinated. If you think it is too late, think again. We are just now heading into peak flu season.”

Children are particularly vulnerable to complications of the flu, health officials warn. During the 2012-2013 season, 169 children in the U.S. died from flu-related complications, including four in New York City.

Though children face a higher risk, only 46 percent of New York City children ages 5 to 8 received the influenza vaccine by the end of the 2012-2013 season, and only 31 percent of children ages 9 to 18 received the vaccine.

Last month, the Board of Health unanimously voted to change the city’s health code to increase vaccination levels among young children. Beginning in the 2014-2015 school year, all children between 6 months and 5 years old who are enrolled in a city-licensed daycare or preschool will be required to receive the flu vaccine before Dec. 31 each year.

Other populations at risk for flu-related complications include pregnant women, people with chronic health conditions and adults age 65 and older, according to the health department.

Pregnant women face a higher risk of premature labor if infected with influenza, the report stated. The vaccine also protects the mother’s newborn from the flu until the baby is old enough to get vaccinated at 6 months of age. Less than half of pregnant women in New York City received a vaccination between August 2010 and August 2011.

The city’s health department has launched a new texting service to encourage more New Yorkers to get vaccinated. Users can text “flu” to 877877 to find a nearby vaccine location.


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
International

'Barack Obama cheats on Michelle' claims Japanese politician…

A senior Japanese politician has marred Barack Obama's official visit to Tokyo with bizarre claims that the President cheats on his wife Michelle. Kazuyuki Hamada,…

International

British Royal family devastated by freak NY death…

The British royals have been left devastated by the death of Mark Shand, younger brother of Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, after a freak fall in…

Local

DA: Homeless man severely beat by men in…

Two former college football players pleaded not guilty to the alleged severe beating of a homeless man in Allston earlier this year.

National

Hamas, Abbas's PLO announce reconciliation agreement

The Gaza-based Islamist group Hamas and President Mahmoud Abbas's Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) agreed on Wednesday to a unity pact.

Television

‘Survivor: Cagayan’ recap: Episode 9

It was only an hour-long episode, but there's a lot to cover this week. The drama of Survivor strikes again as the identity of the…

Going Out

Thursty: Revamped Audubon is back in action

Having been a long time fan of Trina's Starlite Lounge in Inman Square, one of my only complaints about the place is that there's only…

Entertainment

Here's what to do in Boston this weekend

MUSIC Huun Huur Tu Friday, 8 p.m. First Church in Cambridge 11 Garden St., Cambridge $28, 617-876-4275 www.worldmusic.org This group comes from the tiny nation…

Television

TV watch list, Wednesday, April 23: 'Suburgatory,' 'Modern…

'Suburgatory' The men of "Suburgatory" go camping and Tessa mentors a social outcast in a Miss Chatswin contest, which brings her, once again, into conflict…

NFL

2014 NFL Mock Draft: Updated, new April 24…

2014 NFL Mock Draft: Updated, new April 24 version

MLB

MLB video highlights: Red Sox top Yankees, 5-1

John Lackey shines, Pineda ejected in Red Sox win

NHL

Bruins - Red Wings Game 4 preview: Boston…

Bruins - Red Wings Game 4 preview: Boston greedy for more dominance

MLB

Fantasy baseball: Searching for early season prospects

It’s relatively rare for a mediocre 30-year-old hitter to suddenly go nuts offensively for 162 games. That’s why minor league prospects are so exciting.

Style

Pippa Middleton's Etsy pick: Golden Thread Jewelry

Get a look at the jewelry Pippa Middleton loves and find out how you can buy it too.

Parenting

What every parent needs to know to get…

Mom and author of "Small Talk," Tracey Blake, shares her five practical tips to help you develop your children's language skills.

Sex

Subway crush: Meet your soulmate on your commute

Read about a couple who has been 40 years after meeting on the train.

Tech

Happy birthday, Game Boy! The handheld console turns…

Nintendo's Game Boy turns 25 this week. To commemorate, we look at some of its better games, like "Tetris" and "The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening."