By FnF Correspondent | PUBLISHED: 26, Oct 2018, 10:30 am IST | UPDATED: 26, Oct 2018, 10:32 am IST
Desk FnF: Only 37 percent of Americans got vaccinated against flu last season, just as one of the deadliest flu season in decades hit, health officials reported Thursday.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention published its final estimates on the past flu season on Thursday. They show a severe influenza epidemic hit just as fewer Americans got the vaccine.
The result: More than 79,000 people died, close to 1 million ended up in the hospital and 48 million people got sick. Adult flu deaths are estimated but the CDC counts every child who dies of flu. Last season, 183 children died of influenza, the final numbers show.
The CDC found 30 million people aged 18 to 64 got sick with flu last season. Close to 12 million children 17 and younger got sick.
Influenza vaccines are notoriously poor at preventing infection, but last year’s flu vaccine lowered the risk of infection by about 40 percent.
But early estimates suggested, incorrectly, that it was even less effective, and surveys showed many people skipped their flu shots because they did not think they would work.
Anti-vaccine rhetoric also did not help, the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials said.
“Clearly, the anti-vaccination movement is taking advantage of the current climate of government distrust and the trend toward believing political statements over scientific ones to question vaccine safety.
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