But the flu vaccine is still doing a pretty good job. Interim estimates from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicate the vaccine offers about 47 percent protection against all influenza infections.
The Associated Press: Flu Vaccine Doing A Relatively Good Job This Season
The flu vaccine is doing a relatively good job this season, protecting about half the people who got it, U.S. health officials said Thursday. Preliminary figures suggest the vaccine is 47 percent effective in preventing flu illness severe enough to send someone to the doctor’s office. Health officials are generally pleased if a flu vaccine works in 40 to 60 percent of people. (2/14)
Stat: Flu Shots This Winter Providing Moderate Levels Of Protection, Data Show
That means, in rough terms, that for every 10 flu infections in people who were not vaccinated, four or five would have been averted if they’d taken a flu shot. The findings were published in the CDC’s online journal Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. (Branswell, 2/14)
The Washington Post: This Year’s Flu Vaccine Is Doing Well, But Deaths Are Still High
Unlike last winter, when flu killed and hospitalized more people in the United States than any seasonal influenza in decades, this season’s flu is considered significantly less harsh, according to officials at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The vaccine also works better overall than last year and is even more effective — about 61 percent — in children, who are among the groups most vulnerable to flu-related complications. But the vaccine has not provided any measurable protection for older adults, with only an 8 percent reduction in the need for medical attention for flu, according to preliminary estimates. (Sun, 2/14)
The Wall Street Journal: This Common Flu Virus Is A Growing Threat
Still, H1N1 isn’t benign. The CDC estimates that as many as 186,000 people were hospitalized with the flu from the beginning of October to Feb. 2, and as many as 15,900 died. The flu kills between 12,000 and 56,000 people in the U.S. a year, according to the CDC.Most of the people hospitalized this year had H1N1 flu, the CDC said. “The number of deaths we’re seeing is a little bit surprising,” said CDC epidemiologist Brendan Flannery. “It’s a reminder that flu can be severe.” (McKay and Umlauf, 2/14)
This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.
Syndicated from https://khn.org/morning-breakout/number-of-flu-deaths-relatively-high-for-a-season-that-is-considered-to-be-low-severity/