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Flu vaccinations for North Dakota children continue to drop

November 24, 2021 GMT

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — North Dakota health officials say the rate of flu vaccinations for children continues to decline.

The state Department of Health said Tuesday that 13,000 fewer dozes of influenza vaccine have been administered to children this fall compared to the same time last year. That’s on the heels of an 8% decline in the number of shots in the 2020-21 seasons.

State Health Officer Dr. Nizar Wehbi said children are especially vulnerable to the flu, which is spread through coughs, sneezes, shared saliva and the touching of contaminated surfaces. The severity of the disease can range from mild to deadly.

“Influenza is not a stomach bug, as many commonly believe,” said Wehbi, adding that the “peak flu season is ahead.”

Health officials recommend that anyone older than six months of age be vaccinated against the flu.