DOH: Fewer kids in Washington are getting the flu vaccine this year

OLYMPIA, Wash. — Flu vaccine rates among children have dropped significantly this fall compared to the previous two flu seasons, the Washington State Department of Health reported Monday.

Data from the state’s immunization information system showed flu vaccinations were down about 25 percent during the months of September and October for kids ages 6 months through 5-years-old.

“We are concerned that our youngest children remain vulnerable to both flu and COVID-19 illness,” Secretary of Health Dr. Umair Shah said. “Although the COVID-19 vaccine is not yet available for kids 4 and under, the flu vaccine is. As parents, we want to do everything in our power to protect our children – and vaccination is an important tool that’s available to every family in Washington.”

The DOH is encouraging families to get themselves and their children vaccinated as soon as possible to keep people safe and out of the hospital.

Health experts report flu activity typically peaks between December and February, but that its pattern is unpredictable.

The flu vaccine is available at pharmacies, clinics and health care provider offices across the state. It is recommended for everyone 6 months and older.

To find a flu vaccine in Washington, visit Vaccines.gov.

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