Mom and child and doctorAs of early November, only about 2 out of 5 people in the U. S. reported having gotten this season’s flu vaccine,

“We are glad to see that people are making the decision to protect themselves and their families from flu, but coverage is still low and we urge people to get vaccinated if they haven’t yet,” said Nancy Messonnier, M.D., director of CDC’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases. “We have a tool that is proven to prevent flu illness and hospitalization but millions of people are not taking advantage of it. Too many people are unprotected.”

Children, Pregnant Woman and the Elderly

Forty percent of people overall reported having received a flu vaccine, including 37 percent of children ages 6 months to 17 years and 41 percent of adults ages 18 years and older.

Although flu vaccination estimates among adults and children are similar to early estimates from last season for all age groups, CDC is looking carefully at vaccination rates for children and for adults ages 50 years and older.

“We are urging parents to make sure their children get a flu shot this season, as the nasal-spray vaccine is not recommended for the 2016-2017 flu season. An annual flu vaccine is very important protection for children,” said Joe Bresee, M.D., a pediatrician and chief of the Epidemiology and Prevention Branch of CDC’s Influenza Division.

Health Care Workers Need Flu Vaccine

CDC also surveyed pregnant women and health care workers regarding flu vaccination:

  • While early estimates show vaccination among pregnant women (47 percent) is six percentage points higher than early estimates last season, more than half of pregnant women remain unvaccinated.
  • Vaccination among health care providers (69 percent) is about the same as it was at this time last season.
  • Last season, coverage among health care personnel working in long-term care facilities increased five percentage points (to 69 percent), but was still the lowest among all health care provider groups. The early coverage estimate for those providers this season (55 percent) is still the lowest among all health care providers.

“It is really important that health care workers get vaccinated and especially important that we continue to make progress vaccinating health care workers who work in long-term care facilities. Many of the most frail and vulnerable people live in these facilities and we know that vaccinating their caregivers helps protect them,” said Messonnier.

 

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