20 child flu deaths reported this year

January 15, 2013 2:20:51 PM PST
Experts say 20 flu-related deaths have been reported in children so far this winter.

But they also say while such a tally is tragic that doesn't mean this year will turn out to be worse than normal.

About 100 children die in an average flu season, and it's still not clear the nation will reach that total. This comes out on the same day that a new report says flu vaccination rates among U.S. children were lower than expected over a recent five-year period.

This research in the Journal Pediatrics showed that of the 8,000 children under the age of 5 in the survey, less than 45 percent of them received a flu shot.

Health officials recommend that all children 6 months and older get the flu vaccine.