Stagnant flu vaccine rates worry U.S. health officials

Glen Mclaughlin
September 29, 2017

"The Australian Government has been carefully monitoring vaccine effectiveness for seasonal influenza vaccines and is committed to exploring enhanced vaccination program arrangements through the NIP, including the use of advanced vaccines for those aged 65 years and over into the future".

"We are pleased to see that the decrease in vaccination coverage among adults age 50 and older we saw in the 2015-2016 season was not sustained during the 2016-2017 season", said Dr. Kathleen Neuzil, director of the Center for Vaccine Development at the University of Maryland.

With flu season right around the corner, you're sure to be flooded with messages reminding you to get your yearly influenza vaccination. Most of studies show that flu vaccination will reduce the risk of flu illness by 40% to 60% among the overall population during seasons.

Price, who received his flu shot at the press conference, said the vaccine can prevent serious health challenges including hospitalization. We have known for many years that a number of psychological and behavioral factors such as stress, physical activity and diet influence how well the immune system works and these factors have also been shown to influence how well vaccines protect against disease.

Last September an 8-year-old girl from Park City, Mackenzie Coyne, died from the flu, even though she got the nasal vaccine. Researchers say that even if people who are vaccinated get the flu, and need to be hospitalized, the vaccine can still offer partial protection and lower the risk of death from the infection. Vaccines will be provided to children older than 3 and adults only.

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Fewer people died during the 2016-2017 season compared with the previous year, but the hospitalization rate almost doubled from the previous year, according to the CDC. As a result, the researchers found that participants had very high levels of antibody --two out of three flu strains were present in the vaccine given in the previous year. You can find more guidelines for vaccinations and a full clinic schedule at this link. "Today, I am leading by example and getting vaccinated against flu".

Among children, ages 6 months to 17 years old, 59 percent were vaccinated nationally compared to 55.7 percent in MI.

"The Galaxy Research survey conducted for the Pharmacy Guild found more than six million Australians would be more likely to have a flu shot if it could be administered at a local pharmacy, including two million who previously had no intention to vaccinate against flu". The study examined data from four flu seasons between 2010 and 2014. "Influenza is an unpredictable infectious disease". "Annual vaccination will always be our first and best defense against the flu", Schaffner said.

Flu season is fast approaching, and US health officials are anxious that this season could be a bad one.

Other reports by MaliBehiribAe

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