By Dr. Mallika Marshall

BOSTON (CBS) — CDC researchers found that more flu shots were administered during the pandemic in 2020 than in the prior two years.

So is that why the flu season was so mild last year? In large part, yes. We were also masking up and social distancing.

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But the researchers found that flu vaccination rates jumped nine percent between September and December in 2020 compared to 2018 and 2019, largely due to warnings by health officials of a possible “twin-demic” of both the flu and COVID-19.

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But the news wasn’t all good, especially for the youngest children.

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Among children, only teens had a bump in the number of flu shots given. Immunizations actually fell as much as 14 percent in children between the ages of six months and four years. It’s possible that many parents didn’t think their young kids were at much risk of getting the flu since they were often stuck at home. Or, it may have been difficult to get into the pediatrician’s office. But let this be a reminder that all children six months and older should get a flu vaccine every year, and the youngest children are the most vulnerable.

Dr. Mallika Marshall