According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than one third of the people from the United States of America have received their flu shots this year. It is believed that more will go to the doctor in order to get vaccinated against the flu, in the following weeks.
More than 111 million people ages 6 months or older received their vaccination against the influenza virus. This means that 36 percent of the United States population was vaccinated against the flu, according to a spokesperson for the Center for Disease Control and prevention. In comparison to the previous year, the number of vaccinated people has increased with 3.5 percent.
According to the officials, the biggest percentage increase was in the children and in people who work in the health care domain. In 2010, 31 percent of children were vaccinated by November. This year, 37 percent have received vaccination against the flu. The previous year, 56 percent of the health care workers were vaccinated against the flu, whereas this year 63 percent have already received the shot.
The CDC’s National Influenza Vaccination Week started this week, and the announcement was made in order to mark the start of this campaign. The campaign encourages people to get their flu shots, prior to the critical months of January and February, when the flu usually affects people. Dr. Howard Koh, who is an assistant secretary for health at the Department of Health and Human Services, stated that this is the best period when people should get vaccinated. By doing so, they make sure that they will be protected against the virus, and against the complications it might bring.
Get it while you can
According to the officials, the supplies of the vaccine might get low, so it would be a good idea to get vaccinated as soon as possible. Dr. Anne Schuchat, who is the director of the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, stated that people should get vaccinated now, because they can easily find the vaccines. She also stated that in the following months it might be difficult to procure the vaccine. According to the CDC, more than 170 million doses have been created this year.
Schuchat stated that usually people delay the moment when they get the shots, and as a result when they finally want to get it, they might be unable to do it. She stated that people could get quite ill in case they do not get vaccinated now. The researchers used cellphone and telephone surveys to make an estimate regarding the number of people who received the flu shots.
A real threat
Many people consider the flu to be quite harmless, but it can be deadly. Between 1976 and 2006, the yearly deaths caused by the flu virus varied greatly. In some years the flu killed a few thousand people, whereas in other years, more than 50,000 were killed by it. So far, the number of flu patients has been low this year, but the experts believe that it will increase starting with the beginning of next year. They stated that the children under the age of 6, the elder, and the pregnant women should get vaccinated against the flu.