The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is out with shocking new data: an estimated 80,000 Americans died of flu and its complications last year, making 2017 the deadliest season on record. That same year, roughly 900,000 hospitalizations were attributed to this relentless virus.
These numbers might seem daunting, but a simple solution can help protect you and your loved ones from a messy flu season: getting a flu shot.
Getting a flu shot has been proven to reduce the risk of catching the flu by between 40% and 60%. In fact, flu vaccination prevented an estimated 5.3 million influenza illnesses, 2.6 million influenza-associated medical visits, and 85,000 influenza-associated hospitalizations during the 2016-2017 season, the CDC reports.
“Flu vaccinations save lives,” Surgeon General Jerome Adams noted at a recent flu vaccine awareness event. “That’s why it’s so important for everyone 6 months and older to get a flu vaccine every year.”
In a recent piece for NPR entitled, Think You Don’t Need A Flu Shot? Here Are 5 Reasons To Change Your Mind, author Allison Aubrey debunks many misconceptions about the flu shot and further explains why you should get vaccinated – advice that many Americans ignore. As Aubrey points out, “the U.S. vaccination rate hovers at about 47 percent a year … far below the 70 percent target.”
To prepare for the upcoming flu season, head over to the CDC’s “About Flu” page for information and resources about getting vaccinated.