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Most kids who died of flu in recent years weren't vaccinated, study finds

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(Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Most children who have died of flu in recent years were not vaccinated against the virus, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention researchers reported Monday.

They found that at least three-quarters of kids who died from influenza between 2010 and 2014 had not been vaccinated in the months before they got sick.

Here's more from the CDC report:

“Every year CDC receives reports of children who died from the flu. This study tells us that we can prevent more of these deaths by vaccinating more,” said Brendan Flannery, PhD, lead author and epidemiologist in the Influenza Division. “We looked at four seasons when we know from other studies that the vaccine prevented flu illness, and we found consistent protection against flu deaths in children.”

During the study period, 358 laboratory-confirmed, flu-associated child deaths were reported to CDC. Of the reported pediatric deaths with known vaccination status (291), only one in four children (26 percent) had been vaccinated.

Since the 2004-2005 season, flu-related deaths in children reported to CDC during regular flu seasons ranged from 37 (during 2011-2012) to 171 (during 2012-2013). During the current flu season, 61 pediatric deaths have been reported to CDC as of March 25, 2017.