In a flu season that has been classified as the worst in decades, influenza vaccinations prevented anywhere from 40,000 to 90,000 hospitalizations according to data just released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The effectiveness data are less straightforward; the 2018–2019 vaccine was 29% effective overall. That figure is deceptively low, however, in that the CDC says this year’s vaccine offered “no significant protection” against H3N2 influenza, but lowered the risk of H1N1 illness by 44% in outpatient settings and 60% in inpatient settings. Whether you read the figures as indicative of success or failure, they illustrate the essential value of patient education regarding flu prevention measures such as hand hygiene in addition to vaccination. Urgent care is a great place to provide that level of education, but also to administer flu shots. To ensure you’re ready to go well in advance of next year’s flu season rush, read An Urgent Care Approach to Influenza—Before Onset in the JUCM archive.
Nice Job! Flu Shots May Have Prevented 90,000 Hospitalizations This Season