It is going to be a nasty influenza season in 2009. The Denver Post reported last week that four infants and toddlers who did not receive the current influenza vaccine or the recommended booster died from influenza epidemic.
On the Denver Post Web site are the recommendations from the Infectious Disease Division of Denver Children's Hospital: It is not too late. If your child has not received a 2009 flu vaccine, go get one and the booster, if needed. If your little one has a high fever, go to your doctor and get tested for influenza A and B.
If you have concerns about vaccinating little children or children with significant health problems, there is good news: On Feb. 12, the New York Times Editorial Board reviewed a recent court case reviewing the current vaccines. According to the Associated Press release published in the New Your Times, the court said the evidence was overwhelmingly contrary to the parents' claims - and backed years of science that found no risk. "It was abundantly clear that the petitioners' theories of causation were speculative and unpersuasive," the court concluded. Dr. Paul Offit of the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia remarked, "It's a great day for science."
The New York Times went on to say, "A special federal vaccine court issued three devastating verdicts Thursday that should help demolish lingering fears that childhood vaccines can and have caused autism." The Times' Editorial Board went on to say, "Parents ought to accept the verdict as persuasive evidence that no child need forgo vaccination against dangerous diseases out of fear that the vaccines might cause autism. The verdicts Thursday suggest that fear of autism was never a valid reason to forgo vaccinations that can protect children from illness and even death."
Enough toddlers and infants have died from influenza in Colorado this year. Please call your doctor's office and protect your children. If you have concerns, call Denver Children's Hospital or Google the CDC Web site.
Steve Ross, MD, FAAP