Flu vaccine pros and cons

Pediatrician James Varga, MD, shares advice for parents on the the pros and cons of having your child vaccinated for the flu or influenza
Flu Vaccinations For Children - Pros and Cons
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Flu vaccine pros and cons

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Of all the vaccines that I talk to parents about, the flu vaccine probably engenders the greatest controversy. Most parents that I talk to believe that influenza or flu is a relatively benign illness and see no great reason why they should vaccinate their child. My job and what I try to do with families is to educate them that there are many complications from influenza in this country. For example, during the widespread H1N1 influenza epidemic two years ago, there were over 1,200 pediatric deaths from influenza in one year. While that was much milder than authorities had predicted, this is a substantial burden on our pediatric population. Every year in this country, children die and have serious complications from influenza. And my reason for vaccinating children is to try to protect them from this disease. Nevertheless, there are concerns on safety regarding the influenza vaccine. And there are legitimate concerns on the behalf of parents. Rarely there are such things as Guillain Barre Syndrome, which occurs in one or two per million doses, which are quite severe but fortunately resolves in most children. And this has to be balanced against the benefit, which is quite substantial to the disease itself, which harms and causes the death of many children in our country.


Pediatrician James Varga, MD, shares advice for parents on the the pros and cons of having your child vaccinated for the flu or influenza

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James Varga, MD

Pediatrician

James Varga began to practice medicine in 1977 after graduating from Bucknell University and New York Medical College with honors. James completed post doctoral studies in Child Development at UCLA. His wife Olga and he have two great daughters, Jenna and Maya.

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