These are the places that are hardest hit by flu in kids

In the western world, children who don’t get the flu shot by the time they turn five are nearly three times more likely to die from influenza than those who get the shot, according to a new analysis of 50,000 children.

In the U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 26 people die every day from influenza and flu-related diseases.

But the CDC found that those numbers are low in poorer countries, and that getting the flu shot lowers those numbers — and keeps children healthy.

In Nigeria, the Republic of Benin, Ethiopia, Uganda, and Rwanda, young people who didn’t get the flu shot are more than four times as likely to die from the flu than those who did, even though there is only a small difference in hospitalizations. (Nigeria has the highest number of fatalities, five, but it also has the lowest number of cases, 6.)

The countries with the highest number of deaths all have many uninsured children.

In Rwanda, the rates of flu-related deaths are highest among children who are not vaccinated against polio, tetanus, and measles — an indication that the older children are, the more susceptible they are to developing the virus.

Africa and Asia are the places where the biggest differences in vaccination rates between young and old are occurring, according to a separate report from the Pew Research Center.

Some children in sub-Saharan Africa get vaccinated, but others don’t. In 2017, in sub-Saharan Africa, children under 5 who do not receive their first dose of polio vaccines are more than 9 times as likely to develop the disease as those who do get their first dose.

In the past, black American children weren’t vaccinated at the same rate as white children, and now they lag even further behind. Black children were 28 times more likely to die from the flu in 2016, compared to white children. African American children were 35 times more likely to die from the flu than white children, and Hispanic children were 24 times more likely to die from the flu.

All of those rates are below the global average.

In 2018, countries based in sub-Saharan Africa, Latin America, and Asia led the world in death rates from influenza in children.

For more information, see a press release from the World Health Organization.


The 95 percent vaccine guarantee may seem elusive to most Americans. If you live in the U.S., though, you are probably already fully immunized. In 2017, only 3 percent of adults said they would be more likely to receive a flu shot if mandatory, while more than 91 percent of adults in the EU said they would.

Of course, you can’t blame people who get sick for being reluctant to get a shot. You can read what about the flu shot has changed this year, and how more people are being vaccinated.

This article was originally published on We Are Malaria.

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