Flu vaccine prevented 6.6 million cases last season says CDC

By Caribbean Medical News Staff

According to The Centre for Disease Control (CDC), the influenza flu shot prevented 6.6. million cases of flu in the 2012-2013 season. According to the CDC, these outcomes were better than anticipated. Despite this, only 40% of Americans were vaccinated as of November, 2014.

According to US officials, all Americans over six months of age are eligible for the flu shot and they believe that this recent finding bolstered their case for the vaccination of everyone during the flu season. There were 31.8 million influenza-associated illnesses last flu season and 14.4 million doctors visits for flu, according a CDC report in the Dec. 13 issue of the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

“In the 2012-2013 flu season, vaccinations prevented at least 6.6 million cases of flu-associated illness. They also prevented some 3.2 million people from seeing their doctor and prevented  79,000 hospitalizations,” said Dr. Tom Frieden, director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In addition, 1.8 million doctor visits could have been prevented, the CDC report indicated.

“Last year was a relatively severe season,” Frieden said. “Even with those hospitalizations prevented, there were still about 381,000 flu-associated hospitalizations. This is higher than we have seen during many flu seasons.”

Meanwhile, Dr. Anne Schuchat, director of CDC’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, said, “Last year, flu hit early and it hit hard. This year, we are lucky because the flu season hasn’t taken off wildly yet, so it’s not too late for you to get vaccinated and to make sure you protect yourself and your family.” She further stated that the CDC could have prevented an additional 4.4 million illnesses and could also have prevented 30,000 more hospitalizations.”  She also recommended that pregnant women get the flu shot to protect them and their unborn child and that all health care workers get the flu shot as well.

Most of those hospitalized were under five years old or older than sixty-five years of age.

The benefits of vaccination seen in 2012-2013 were greater than the CDC had seen before and were attributable to the severity of the season, Frieden noted.

Leave a Comment

Security Question * Time limit is exhausted. Please reload CAPTCHA.

Powered by WordPress