NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – There’s troubling news about children and flu shots as we head into an uncertain cold, flu and COVID-19 season.

A new survey says millions of parents may be skipping flu shots for their children. CBS2’s Dr. Max Gomez reports that could be a big problem.

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The country is facing a potential “twin-demic,” a overlap of flu season with a 2nd wave of the coronavirus. It could overwhelm the healthcare system, since both viruses lead to massive hospitalizations.

But, a new survey says many parents may not get their children vaccinated against the flu.


The survey comes from the University of Michigan Mott Children’s Hospital. It found that one in three parents plan to skip flu shots for their kids during the pandemic – and that only one-third of parents believe getting the flu vaccine is more important this year.

New York City’s Health Commissioner said that’s a serious mistake.

“We know that COVID-19 is still circulating in New York City. And, so, this year’s flu shot could be the most important one you ever get. Please do. Go out and get it. Anyone over the age of six months is recommended to get a flu shot,” said Dr. David Chokski.

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Dr. Gomez analyzed data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention dating back to January 2020. He found 146 children died of flu and flu complications nationwide – most were unvaccinated.

During the pandemic, pediatric COVID deaths have amounted to 109.

The flu vaccine will prevent or make the flu far less serious. Plus, experts say it is possible to contract the flu and COVID-19 at the same time, making complications, hospitalizations and death more likely.

There has been much mistrust engendered against vaccines during the race to develop a COVID-19 vaccine, which has amplified the previous, misguided anti-vax movement.

The tragedy would be deaths of children who did not receive a proven, safe flu shot.

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