Influenza 2017-2018: 80,000 people in the US died from Influenza

Following a particularly severe 2017-2018 influenza season with a record-breaking estimated 900,000 hospitalizations and more than 80,000 deaths in the US, everyone is advised to follow the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommendation that everyone age 6 months and older get vaccinated against Influenza each year.
These new estimates are record-breaking, and emphasize the seriousness and severity of Influenza and serve as a strong reminder of the importance of vaccination.

During the 2017-2018 season, 180 Influenza deaths in children were reported to CDC, exceeding the previously recorded high of 171 for regular (non-pandemic) Influenza season. This number is thought to be underestimated, as not all Influenza-related deaths are reported. During most Influenza seasons, about 80 percent of reported pediatric deaths occur in children who have not been fully vaccinated against Influenza.

Influenza vaccination has been shown to reduce the risk of flu illness, and a growing body of evidence supports the fact that vaccination also reduces the risk of serious Influenza outcomes that can result in hospitalization and even death.

CDC estimates that Influenza vaccines prevent tens of thousands of hospitalizations each year and a CDC study in 2017 was the first of its kind to show vaccination reduced the risk of Influenza-associated death by half (51 percent) among children with underlying high-risk medical conditions and by nearly two-thirds (65 percent) among healthy children[1].

Most recently, a study showed that Influenza vaccination lessened the risk of severe Influenza among adults, including reducing the risk of hospitalization and admission to the intensive care unit, and also lessened severity of illness[2]. These benefits are especially important for people at high risk of serious complications, like people 65 and older, children younger than 5 years, pregnant women and people with certain underlying long-term medical conditions, such as heart and lung disease or diabetes.

So, dear antivaxxers, even if you do not believe in the efficacy of vaccines yourself, please have your child vaccinated against Influenza. Do you really want to risk losing your child?

[1] Flannery et al: Influenza Vaccine Effectiveness Against Pediatric Deaths: 2010–2014 in Pediatrics - 2017
[2] Thompson et al: Influenza vaccine effectiveness in preventing influenza-associated intensive care admissions and attenuating severe disease among adults in New Zealand 2012–2015 in Vaccine - 2018

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