Well, this came up during lunch time conversation today so I thought I'd look into. Apparently, a five year old girl in NJ died from complications of the flu. She supposedly had a flu shot earlier in the fall. They did not mention whether she got one shot or two (some folks need 2 shots for immunity... otherwise they are not immune at all! you can see my earlier post about flu vaccines). They also did not mention whether or not she had any underlying medical condition. Here is one of the articles about it.
In any case, it is very sad and I kept thinking about my little girl who is three years old and how devastated I would be!
CDC estimates that yearly the number of people who die from complications of the flu has ranged from around 3,000 to 49,000. The number of folks hospitalized for complications is even higher!
Last year I got the swine flu when I was in my third trimester of pregnancy. I did not get the swine flu shot in time because our hospital didn't have it yet! It was awful.. I never felt so sick before in my life. I was coughing for at least 4 weeks and there was a period where I seriously considered going to the ER. They probably would have admitted me and given me Tamiflu given my high risk of mortality and morbidity due to the pregnancy.
Bottom line.. I say get your flu vaccines and get your kids vaccinated! I say if your body is going to be exposed to this virus that can cause all sorts of serious complications and even death... then why not give it a fighting chance and introduce it to a "dead" version of the virus so that when the real deal arrives, your body has an army that is ready to fight? Some folks unfortunately may not form the antibodies or even with the antibodies it may not be enough to fight off the bug... but at least you tried. Got to weigh the possible consequences of "to vaccinate or not vaccinate" and then base it on statistics for chance of that consequence to happen.