Eleven year old William Argumendo is waiting to get a flu vaccine.
His mother, Claudia Duque, makes sure he gets one every year. "Because when he gets sick it triggers his asthma," she said.
Now a new study from the centers for disease control and prevention shows that the flu vaccine is also critical for children who don't have health issues. Researchers looked at pediatric flu related deaths and found 43 percent were in healthy children.
"About half the kids who die from the flu have no underlying medical problems and can die within four days of contracting the virus," said Dr. Tamiko Jordan, a pediatrician with Children's Hospital Los Angeles.
Flu complications killed more than 800 children over the past eight years. Children under five are most vulnerable.
A second study from researchers at Children's Hospital Los Angeles, shows schools that offer vaccinations have higher rates of attendance and lower rates of flu. At one elementary school, the study also found that when nearly half the students were immunized, unvaccinated kids also appeared to receive some protection.
"Kids spread the virus up to two days before they show any symptoms of the flu and for up to 10 days after, so it's a very long period they're contagious and people may not realize it," Dr. Jordan said.
William understands the shot is important. "So I can stay healthy and nothing can happen to me," he added.
And doctors remind parents the less painful nasal spray vaccine is also an option.
Wednesday, April 16 2014 12:34 PM EDT2014-04-16 16:34:35 GMT
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