PHARMACY

CDC: Flu vaccine prevented 8,000 deaths last flu season

BY Sandra Levy

The flu vaccine reduced the chances of getting sick and going to the doctor for flu by 38% in the 2017-2018 flu season. This finding was included in a recent article published by the Centers for Disease and Control Prevention, in partnership with academic and public health colleagues, in the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases.

The article describes the effectiveness of the influenza vaccine and the number of illnesses, hospitalizations, and deaths prevented by flu vaccine during the 2017–2018 flu season.

The authors used a mathematical model, combining the vaccine effectiveness, estimated vaccine coverage, and influenza burden, and estimated that influenza vaccination prevented 7.1 million illnesses, 3.7 million medical visits, 109,000 hospitalizations, and 8,000 deaths associated with flu.

Influenza vaccination was more effective against medical visits due to influenza A(H1N1)pdm09 (62%) and influenza B (50%). And flu vaccination was also more effective in young children. In fact, the authors estimated that flu vaccine prevented approximately 40% of deaths due to flu in children younger than 5 years.

The 2017–2018 flu season in the U.S. was severe for people of all ages. The immense burden and the burden prevented by vaccination highlight the importance of getting an annual influenza vaccine to protect yourself against influenza and complications from the flu, according to the CDC.

The full article is available through the journal Clinical Infectious Disease, Effects of Influenza Vaccination in the United States during the 2017–2018 Influenza Season.

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