According to information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Child Care Aware of America (CCAoA), this year it
is more important than ever that all families get vaccinated for influenza (flu). Health experts believe that an individual can get the flu and the coronavirus at the same time. Since both viruses are respiratory illnesses, they produce similar symptoms.
The CDC cautions that the flu may cause more serious symptoms in children than the coronavirus. Children are most likely to get the flu during flu season. They are also most likely to expose family members to the flu. Since pregnant women and infants (younger than 6 months) cannot have a flu vaccine, all other family members need to get the vaccine to prevent exposing the flu to infants and pregnant women.
Child Care Aware of America (CCAoA) is urging child care resource and referral agencies (CCR&Rs) to encourage child care programs to educate their employees and the families they serve on the importance of receiving a flu vaccine. CCAoA developed a PowerPoint presentation that can be customized for use in training child care are providers. Additionally, CCR&Rs could consider hosting a flu vaccine clinic. The CDC has a step-by-step guide that can be used for planning for the clinic. There is also a 12-minute “microwebinar” for families and providers, “A Conversation about Flu Prevention with Families,” that is available online.
For families with questions about COVID-19, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention offers a COVID-19 Parental Resources Kit.