An annual influenza (flu) vaccination is recommended by the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) for all people 6 months and older who do not have contraindications to vaccination; vaccination is the primary way to prevent sickness and death caused by flu. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) analyzed data from two telephone surveys, the National Immunization Survey-Flu (NIS-Flu) and the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS), to estimate flu vaccination coverage for the U.S. population during the 2018–19 flu season. Vaccination coverage with ≥1 dose of flu vaccine was 62.6% among children 6 months through 17 years, an increase of 4.7 percentage points from the 2017–18 flu season and 3.6 percentage points higher than coverage in the 2016–17 season. Flu vaccination coverage among adults ≥18 years was 45.3%, an increase of 8.2 percentage points from the 2017–18 flu season and 2.0 percentage points higher than the 2016–17 season. Vaccination coverage varied by state, ranging from 46.0%–81.1% among children and from 33.9%–56.3% among adults, and of the ten states with the lowest coverage for children eight were also among the ten states with the lowest coverage for adults. Interpretation of the estimates in this report should take into account limitations of the surveys, including reliance on self-report/parental-report of vaccination status, low response rates, and level of consistency with findings from other surveys and data sources. CDC is exploring the use of administrative data sources to track flu vaccination coverage.
To improve flu vaccination coverage, healthcare providers are encouraged to offer influenza vaccination during routine health care visits and hospitalizations, continuing to offer vaccination as long as influenza viruses are circulating. For people who cannot visit a doctor’s office during the flu season, there are alternative and convenient places available for flu vaccinations. Improvements in vaccination coverage could provide greater benefit; in a recently published study, CDC estimated that increasing coverage by five percentage points could have prevented another 4,000 to 11,000 hospitalizations, depending on the severity of the season.
(CNN)This flu season is shaping up to be one of the worst in decades, according to the United States’ top infectious disease doctor.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergies and Infectious Diseases, said while it’s impossible to predict how the flu will play out, the season so far is on track to be as severe as the 2017-2018 flu season, which was the deadliest in more than four decades, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
“The initial indicators indicate this is not going to be a good season — this is going to be a bad season,” Fauci said.
It’s almost like flu shots are bogus?