Source: Chicago Tribune
Last year, seasonal influenza vaccines reduced the number of flu cases and hospital visits by an estimated 17 percent, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Vaccinations prevented more than 6 million cases of the flu and 79,000 hospitalizations, according to a CDC model that compared the actual number of cases and hospitalizations with the projected number that would have occurred with no flu vaccinations. Groups who benefited the most from the vaccine were young children and elderly adults. Less than 50 percent of Americans six months of age and older were vaccinated against the flu last year, but the CDC suggests that another 30,000 hospitalizations could have been avoided if the vaccination rate had been 70 percent.