Pediatrician strongly urges flu vaccine for children

By Ginny Kropf, correspondent Posted 1 November 2020 at 11:30 am

Dr. Khurrum Sanaullah

MEDINA – A pediatrician in Orleans County is expressing his concern regarding the upcoming flu season and some parents’ decision not to have their children vaccinated.

Dr. Khurrum Sanaullah joined Rochester Regional Health in April and is affiliated with United Memorial Medical Center and Orleans Community Health. He offers pediatric services at Medina Family Medicine on Ohio Street and Batavia Pediatrics.

Dr. Sanaullah recently gave a Zoom videoconference on his concern about a recent poll which found that one out of three parents do not plan to have their child vaccinated for the flu. Further, the poll revealed that only one out of three parents believe it is more important for their child to get the flu vaccine this year, compared to past years.

The two major contributing reasons revealed in the study indicate parents are keeping their kids away from health care sites during Covid-19; and parents are concerned due to misinformation about side effects and the effectiveness of the vaccine.

Dr. Sanaullah states it is even more important this year for children to get a flu shot because of the pandemic. He adds, the best time to have the flu shot is now.

He said the flu vaccine does not cause any serious side effects, and it is much better to get sick from the vaccine than from the flu itself.

“Your symptoms will be much milder,” he said. “The medical profession has never showed that the flu vaccine causes serious side effects.”

The doctor also said symptoms of the flu and Covid are very similar – chills, fever, body aches, cough, headache, vomiting and diarrhea, and if a person developed both, it could be a big problem.

“It’s a very smart idea to get your children vaccinated,” the doctor said.

He said all children between the ages of 6 months and 21 years should have the flu vaccine. The vaccine can be administered at a local pharmacy, although many pharmacies won’t vaccinate a child under 6.

Dr. Sanaullah said the flu season is typically from September through April and the earlier the flu vaccine is administered, the better. But it is never too late.