Michigan Reports First Child Flu Death of 2021-22 Season

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) says a Kalamazoo child has died from the flu for the first time in the 2021-2022 season.

Nationally, there have been 16 child flu deaths during the current season.

There has been an increase in flu-like illness and hospitalizations taking place in Michigan, which is not typical for this time of year. But Michigan is not the only state dealing with increased flu activity. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that since October there have been at least 3.8 million flu illnesses, 1.8 million flu medical visits, 38,000 flu hospitalizations and 2,300 deaths from the flu nationally.

Because of this, the MDHHS is strongly recommending anyone six months of age and older to get a seasonal flu vaccine.

“Flu vaccine is a recommended childhood vaccine, and it is important to ensure that children are up to date with all of their vaccines,” said Dr. Natasha Bagdasarian, chief medical executive for MDHHS. “Once children reach six months of age it is recommended they receive two doses of the flu vaccine for their first series. In addition, pregnant women should get the flu vaccine during each pregnancy. Flu vaccine can be given at the same time as other vaccines, including the COVID-19 vaccine.”

The MDHHS says that only 32% of Michigan residents have been vaccinated against the flu for the 2021-2022 flu season currently. According to data from the Michigan Care Improvement Registry, the flu vaccine coverage among children ages six months through 17 years is 5.4% lower for the 2021-2022 flue season compared to the 2020-2021 season.

There is still plenty of flu vaccines available for those who wish to be vaccinated.

For more information about the flu, click here.