NEW DELHI: About 66 per cent women, who have children aged 0-6 years in metropolitan cities, do not get them vaccinated against influenza unless insisted upon by doctors.
Around 58 per cent women, either mothers or pregnant, are unaware of the type of viruses leading to the condition, a survey carried out by multinational healthcare firm Abbott in association with a market research company has found.
The perception survey was conducted in Mumbai, Delhi, Bengaluru, Kolkata, Hyderabad, Chennai, Ahmedabad and Pune. As per the National Family Health Survey-4, as many as 72.5 per cent of children in the age group of 12 to 23 months were not getting immunized on time.
One of the key findings of the influenza survey was that around 40 per cent of mothers and parents surveyed do not take flu seriously.
It also highlighted that though health (of their own as well as babies) is a priority for mothers and new parents, necessary steps are often not taken due to lack of information or a casual attitude towards it. Surprisingly, 37 per cent of pregnant women surveyed across cities also do not take a flu vaccine during pregnancy, despite recommendation by the doctors.
The survey also found that about 82 per cent people mistake Influenza with a simple fever 82 while 71 per cent associate it with body pain and 54 per cent think it also causes cough.
Since mothers do not consider flu as something more than a common cold, the survey highlights the need to stress on these symptoms and its association with flu.
Mukesh Gupta, a Mumbai based gynaecologist however stressed that such ignorance can be dangerous. “Since flu and flu complications are more severe in pregnant women, flu shots are specifically recommended to mothers during pregnancy; even better if given before conception,” he said.
As per the Integrated Disease Surveillance Programme, there were 38,811 flu cases and 2,266 flu-related deaths in India last year.
38,811 flu cases
and 2,266 flu-related deaths in the country last year
in cities do not take flu vaccine during pregnancy despite recommendation by doctors
66% city women
who have children aged 0-6 years don’t vaccinate kids against Influenza
aged 12 to 23 months not getting immunized against Influenza on time
mistake influenza with fever while 71% associate it with body pain