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January 25, 2008
Did your preschooler get a flu shot this season? Almost 40 percent of parents of young children say yes, according to a new poll. That's pretty darned good, considering that the federal government officially started recommending yearly flu shots for children ages 6 months through 2 years starting in 2004, and only added children through age 5 for the 2006-07 flu season. I must confess that I'm not among that noble number, having not quite managed to make the trek to the pediatrician's office with my own 4-year-old in the fall.
The real number's probably not quite as good; we all tend to fib when asked whether we're following health advice. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 20 percent of eligible children were fully vaccinated for the 2005-06 flu season. (And this week the CDC reported that adults are dismal at keeping up with their own vaccinations, with only 2 percent getting the recommended shots for pertussis and shingles.)