Flu Vaccine a Closer Match, Time to Get Vaccinated, CDC Says
| September 17, 2015
Led by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Director Tom Frieden, MD, a host of healthcare organizations issued an annual plea today for influenza vaccination for everyone aged over 6 months, noting that this year’s vaccine would be a closer match for the H3N2 strain still circulating from last year.
At a media briefing, Dr Frieden rolled up his sleeve and received a shot that was captured by dozens of video cameras and smartphones. He noted that just under half of all Americans eligible were vaccinated for influenza last year, and that rates were highest for children aged 6 to 23 months (75%) and 2 to 4 years (68%), and for adults aged over 65 years (67%). But vaccination rates are lagging among 18- to 64-year-olds, hovering below 40%.
“We need to get more young and middle-aged people vaccinated,” said Dr Frieden. He said officials were hopeful, given “increasing opportunities for vaccination,” including at pharmacies, urgent care centers, and workplaces.
Dr Frieden also discussed data just issued by the CDC on vaccination coverage during the 2014-2015 flu season for pregnant women and healthcare professionals. Only about half of pregnant women were vaccinated, similar to the 2013-2014 flu season ( MMWR. 2015;64:1000-1015). Overall, just over 77% of healthcare workers were vaccinated, similar to the 75% who received a shot in the previous flu season. But there are still significant gaps, especially among providers working in long-term-care settings, where only 64% were vaccinated in 2014-2015.
For the most current available news about this years flu season go to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s Web site at http://www.cdc.gov/flu/index.htm. For a current map of the states most affected by flu go here http://www.cdc.gov/flu/weekly/usmap.htm