Posted On October 6, 2017 By In Practice

CDC Says Flu Vaccines Have ‘Plateaued’—so Start Promoting Its Benefits

Just the other day we shared data indicating that healthcare professionals are far less inclined to get a flu shot if their workplace doesn’t require it or offer the immunizations on site. Now comes word from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that the whole country’s influenza vaccination rate has plateaued—leaving us all at higher risk for an outbreak. New figures from the CDC reveal that since the 2013-2014 season, the rate for adults has hovered around 43% and remains stuck at approximately 59% for children. The CDC is pleading with urgent care providers and other clinicians to push long and hard for patients to do everything they can to protect themselves and others from influenza, starting with getting a flu shot. Even in years when the vaccine is less effective than in other years, the flu shot lowers the public’s odds of experiencing an epidemic. Last year is a prime example: Though the efficacy rate of that formulation was estimated to be just 42%, the CDC says it prevented more than 5.4 million cases of flu, 2.7 million doctor visits, and 86,000 hospitalizations. It’s too soon to tell how well this year’s formulation will match up against the most prevalent strain of influenza.

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