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Flu Vaccination Rates Remain Low — CDC

Only about half of Americans plan to get a flu shot this year, a recent survey shows. So far, the vaccine is a good match for the circulating strain of the virus. However, this decision has ramifications that go beyond just keeping an individual healthy, according to investigator Glen Nowak, director of the University of Georgia Grady College's Center for Health and Risk Communication.

Dr. Levine, who works at New York's Mount Sinai Hospital, says the more people who get the shot, the less chance the flu has to spread. "Numerous most frail and vulnerable people live in these facilities and we know that vaccinating their caregivers helps protect them", said Messonnier.

The overall rate is similar to the vaccination rate at the same time a year ago, the CDC noted.

Of particular concern are adults aged 50 years of age and older. "The flu vaccination is the best way to reduce your chances of getting seasonal flu and spreading it to others", Ms Horan said. Doctors say many still have a shot at beating the flu before it peaks.

"We're at the very beginning of the RSV season and likewise expect that activity to really pick up over the next few weeks", Dr. Gesteland said. "That's unfortunate because more people can clearly benefit from getting it".

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According to the Health Protection Surveillance Centre (HPSC), reported cases of influenza-like illness (ILI) rose from 11 per 100,000 of the population during the last week of November to 18 per 100,000 in the first week of December.

The flu vaccine is 1 of 2 shots recommended for adults, with the other being a tetanus booster every 10 years.

Dr. Shanna Levine wants to stress people can not get the flu from the vaccine. Since their research did not include women who received the flu shot up to six months before becoming pregnant, the percent of pregnant women covered by the flu vaccine may be higher than noted in this study.

The findings indicate the potential hope for higher adult vaccination rates in the future if more children grow up getting the vaccine, the investigators concluded. Some people have misconceptions about the vaccine, but doctors say now is the time to protect yourself, especially with the holidays coming. "When people gain experience with a vaccine they often become more willing to follow the vaccination recommendation". Young children, pregnant women and the elderly are strongly encouraged to do so because they are at greater risk of complications from the flu.

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