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COVID-19 and Pneumonia Deaths Continue Exceeding Influenza

January 21, 2022 • 2:04 pm CST
(Precision Vaccinations)

The U.S. National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) Mortality Surveillance data available on January 20, 2022, found 25.5% of the deaths that occurred during the week ending January 15, 2022 (week #2) were due to pneumonia, influenza, and/or COVID-19 (PIC).

Among the 4,326 PIC deaths reported for this week, 3,681 had COVID-19 listed, and 623 had pneumonia listed as an underlying or contributing cause of death on the death certificate.

And just 22 listed influenza as the cause of death.

This NCHS data indicates that current PIC mortality is due primarily to COVID-19 (85%) and pneumonia (14%), not influenza.

Previously, the U.S. CDC reported a total of five influenza-associated pediatric deaths that occurred during the 2021-2022 season had been reported.

Two influenza-associated pediatric deaths were reported to CDC during week #2, ending January 15, 2022.

One death was associated with an influenza A(H3) virus, and one death was associated with an influenza A virus for which no subtyping was performed.

These five deaths represent a significant increase from last flu season (2020-2021) when only (1) influenza-associated pediatric death was reported to CDC.

Influenza viruses change from year to year, so influenza vaccines must be updated annually to include the viruses that will most likely circulate in the upcoming season. 

Of the influenza A strains detected, H3N2 is dominant, making up 100% of subtyped samples. Most H3N2 viruses are genetically related to the current flu vaccine virus. However, the CDC identified some antigenic differences as the influenza viruses evolve in 2022.

To be protected against the flu, the CDC encourages most people over six months of age to get an annual flu shot.

Unfortunately, the preliminary estimates for the last flu season indicate children's flu shots decreased 4.1% to 58.2%.

As of January 7, 2022, about 173.3 million doses had been distributed in the U.S.

The presented data are preliminary and may change as more data are received and processed, says the CDC.

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