Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started
My Medicine

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Children's Vaccines Health Center

Font Size

Flu Vaccine May Be Especially Good Idea for Kids


In an editorial accompanying the two reports, Kenneth McIntosh, MD, and Tracy Lieu, MD, MPH, write that the validity of studies like these hinges on the investigators' ability to distinguish the effects of the flu from those of another, more serious disease: respiratory syncytial virus (RSV). "Both studies, but particularly that of Izurieta and colleagues, leave considerable uncertainty about whether influenza is responsible for all, or even most, of the excess morbidity that is attributable to it," they write. And even if it is, they write, "at most, only 20% of the excess number of hospitalizations in winter were attributed to influenza infection." In other words, these studies do not prove that all of the excess hospital stays were due to the flu. Unfortunately, this leaves unanswered the real question: Is it worth the extra time and stress to give your child the flu vaccine?

McIntosh and Lieu have a valid point, says Neuzil. "We have to realize that these are estimates and must be careful how we use these data. We've identified the risk of a disease. Now we need to look at the second half of the equation: Is giving everyone a vaccine a benefit? That study still needs to be done," she says. "[But] parents should recognize that very young children can get sick from influenza. This is not a minor disease."

Vital Information:

  • New studies show that influenza is responsible for a significant number of hospitalizations and office visits among children -- especially those younger than 6 months old.
  • In spite of the findings, researchers are not clear as to whether all children should be vaccinated against the flu.
  • The studies were criticized by two experts for overestimating the effects of the flu.
1 | 2

Today on WebMD

Baby getting vaccinated
Is there a link? Get the facts.
syringes and graph illustration
Get a customized vaccine schedule.
baby getting a vaccine
Know the benefits and the risk
nurse holding syringe in front of girl
Should your child have it?

What To Know About The HPV Vaccine
24 Kid Illnesses Parents Should Know
Nausea and Vomiting Remedies Slideshow
Managing Immunization Schedules For Kids

Doctor administering vaccine to toddler
gloved hand holding syringe
infant receiving injection

WebMD Special Sections