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CDC: Half Of Kids With Disabilities Skip Flu Shots


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Despite an increased risk for complications from the flu, many children with intellectual disability, cerebral palsy and other disorders are not vaccinated to protect against the virus.

Just half of children with neurologic or neurodevelopmental conditions receive the flu vaccine each year, according to a report published Thursday in the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

That’s similar to the vaccination rate for all children, but presents a dilemma because kids with special needs face bigger risks of hospitalization or even death if they contract the flu, officials said.

“Among the most vulnerable for influenza-related conditions are children with neurologic conditions,” said Anne Schuchat, director of the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases at the CDC. “We found that we have room for improvement.”

For the study, the CDC surveyed parents of more than 1,000 children with neurologic or neurodevelopmental conditions as well as about 400 physicians who treat children with special needs. They found that even though most parents rely on doctors to provide information about vaccines, many doctors fail to identify children who face high risk from the flu.

The CDC’s Schuchat said this is particularly significant on the heels of the 2009 H1N1 flu outbreak when a disproportionate number of kids with neurologic disorders died. Intellectual disability and epilepsy were two of the most common conditions affecting children who died that year. Yet, among doctors surveyed for the new CDC study, the conditions were two of the least likely to be identified as high risk.

“It’s very important that we vaccinate these children and those around them,” Schuchat said. “I hope that we can do better in the future.”

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Comments (13 Responses)

  1. Anna says:

    I would love to have my child vaccinated, but she has a very serious egg allergy. With the flu shot cultured in egg, we have no options. Looking forward to having flu shots developed for the masses which are not cultured in egg!

  2. Michele DeParasis says:

    This is not a topic for Disability Scoop. I choose to vaccinate my child, but I respect the civil rights of every parent to make that decision on their own, Stop badgering and making this such a devisive issue.

  3. Michele DeParasis says:

    Make that divisive.

  4. Amanda says:

    Thank goodness they skip the flu shot!
    The last thing they need are more toxic chemicals in their body.
    Wash hands thoroughly and often- safe- free and side effect free
    Stop pushing flu shots
    Let every parent decide for themselves

  5. Linda Miller says:

    Let parents be offered the options by well-informed health care providers.

  6. Victoria says:

    There is a flu vaccine for those with egg allergies.

  7. RAOD says:

    Just make sure the kids are well-fed, a lot of liquid intake, wash hands before eating, and as soon they get home from school, playground or outside, vitamin C for immune system, and good rest/sleep. Then they will be okay. No need the fly shot which contains chemicals harmful to the body :(

  8. Donna says:

    Why are kids with special needs at higher risk? You never say why? I’m new to this newsletter, but if this is the kind of information you post, I think I’ll opt out. Just seems that big pharma pushing their product.

  9. Sarah says:

    There is growing scientific evidence that there is a link between family history of auto immune disease and autism, so it is not surprising many autism parents are opting out of the flu shot. According to a recent study, women who have autoimmune disease have an increased risk of having a child with autism b/c they produce anti bodies that work against the fetal brain. Children with family history of auto immune, neurological or neuropschiatric diseases may be at greater risk to adverse reaction from shots which are designed to provoke the immune system.

  10. Carol says:

    Many of us who are parents of children with autism have seen our children get very high fevers after vaccination (and then they are supposed to take Tylenol and other over-the-counter meds at high doses to bring down the temperature…meds which we now know can cause liver damage to the liver- the organ which is responsible for clearing toxins from the body- at doses which are much lower than previously believed to cause harm). Many of us believe that the vaccinations, and the over-the counter meds are among the environmental toxins which contribute to or cause autism. Thus, we will try to keep our children healthy by utilizing other methods. Many of us also have children who test with an allergy to egg, and wonder if the allergy to egg increased the reactions to vaccinations, or if the vaccinations triggered the food allergies or sensitivities. Talk to parents. There is a correlation (also a correlation between food allergies/ear infections/antibiotic use/ADHD or ASD). Collect data, believe what parents tell you they have observed, and base studies on the data which you collect!! Don’t dismiss it merely because you want to discount or discredit the theory of a link between vaccinations and autism! Look at the rates of ASD and other problems. We are destroying a generation! We need to prevent new cases, and cure or ameliorate current problems. Obviously any environmental triggers for autism do not trigger it in ALL children who are exposed. Who is most vulnerable, and why? What will lessen or prevent harm? What will repair systems in the body which are damaged? In addition to the items which I mentioned, I believe that we need to look at pesticides, and other chemicals in air,water,food, ultrasounds,pitocin,C-sections, and drugs which are given, the syrupy drink given for glucose tolerance tests, and Candida/yeast problems in the mother which may have been caused by antibiotic use, or use of birth control pills, etc.Specific chemicals to look at would include lead, mercury, arsenic, cadmium, antimony, tin, aluminum…

  11. Mary Silenti says:

    Some children with neurological impairment may not be getting the vaccine because of their past disastrous encounters with other vaccines.

    Our 18 year old daughter was already somewhat impaired at 14 months old when she received the MMR. Nobody in the medical establishment warned us that her disabilities placed her at higher risk from the vaccine than healthy children.

    Less than 2 weeks later she developed severe epilepsy resulting in profound neurological deterioration. She has remained in that condition to this day.

    Note: she had had a normal EEG prior to the vaccine!

    Raising her since then has been a series of hurdles which is the basis of my blog.

  12. Lynette says:

    I stopped all vaccinations years ago when I discovered to my horror the toxins, diseases and sterilizations that are put in the pushed vaccinations. So very sad what is happening! :'(

  13. annie says:

    We were horrified this year to find out our son was one of the small number of kids seriously contraindicated for the nasal spray flu vaccine, AFTER our doc of several years thoughtlessly gave it to him for lack of knowledge of vaccines, or my son’s disorder. The biggest characteristic of his disorder is seizures, and apparently the live vaccines can have proven horrific ramifications for individuals with epilepsy. It makes me nervous about what else they aren’t considering when I take him in for his regular appointments and vaccinations. I shouldn’t have to know more than a physician, but feel pressured to for my son’s safety. If your child has seizures don’t allow a nurse to administer the live nasal flu vaccine.

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