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Flu vaccinations are serious business

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Posted: Friday, October 17, 2008 10:00 pm

Q: My grandson is 8 months old, and the pediatrician wants to vaccinate him for the flu. My daughter and I are at odds because she wants to vaccinate him, and I don't think she should. She reads your column, so what is your opinion? - A.H., Memphis

A: It's a personal decision, but my children never got it. Since the 2003-2004 flu season, the Center for Disease Control has tracked the number of children under age 18 who die from flu complications. Since then, the annual number of confirmed child flu deaths has ranged from 44 to 153. As a result, the CDC recommends that we increase the number of shots by about 30 million and vaccinate our entire next generation, all kids 6 months old to 19 years of age. There are no long-term safety tests, and some of the vials (multi-dose vials) contain thimerosal, a mercury-based preservative.

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