Flu-associated medical visits and hospitalizations per 100,000 population in 2022-23 were higher among children under age 5 than for older children, but were higher for older children than for any season since 2016-17, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported Oct. 12. Over half of pediatric hospitalizations for flu in 2022-23 occurred in October and November, compared with just 2%-7% during prior flu seasons since 2016, and fewer than two in 10 hospitalized children had received a flu vaccine, compared with 36%-42% in the prior flu seasons. Hospitalized children who were symptomatic also were less likely to receive antiviral medication for flu compared with seasons before the COVID-19 pandemic. 

“Taken together, these findings underscore the importance of children and adolescents receiving a seasonal influenza vaccination, ideally by the end of October, and prompt influenza antiviral treatment for those who are hospitalized,” the authors said.

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