Michigan child’s flu-related death falsely attributed to flu vaccine

Michigan reported its first pediatric death from the flu of the 2023-2024 flu season. Some social media users are falsely attributing the child’s death to the flu vaccine. Others are promoting the false narrative that flu vaccines are ineffective and dangerous.

Risk level: Medium

Recommendation: These types of posts may discourage patients in Michigan from getting this season’s flu vaccine for themselves and for their children. They may also promote vaccine hesitancy among patients throughout the U.S. who encounter these false claims. Vaccinating children against the flu is especially critical, as 103 children in the U.S. have already died from the flu this flu season. Talking points may emphasize that flu vaccines are safe, and adverse reactions are rare. Flu vaccination reduces the risk of contracting the flu by between 40 and 60 percent. The flu vaccine also reduces the risk of flu-related hospitalization and of children to develop a life-threatening flu infection. The CDC recommends this season’s flu vaccine for everyone 6 months and older.