By: Simpson, Ian
U.S. health officials and major health organizations, including the American Academy of Pediatrics, are calling for Americans to receive the annual influenza vaccine ahead of the coming flu season. New data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show that 75 percent of children between six months and 23 months were vaccinated against the flu last year, while about a third of adolescents and 39 percent of adults were vaccinated. Although last year’s flu season was mild, there is no guarantee that the 2012-2013 season will be the same, said Howard Koh, assistant health secretary at the Department of Health and Human Services, speaking at a Sept. 27 news conference. In addition to vaccination, health officials noted the importance of proper hand hygiene and coughing into an elbow instead of one’s hand.