Flu Shots More Effective this Season
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) presented some good news last week regarding influenza vaccines. The FDA confirmed this season's influenza vaccination provided substantial protection against inpatient, emergency department, and outpatient illnesses among all ages.
On March 7, 2023, Lisa Grohskopf, MD, MPH, with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), presented to the FDA's Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee updated vaccine effectiveness (VE) information through January 2023.
Dr. Grohskopf's presentation highlighted influenza vaccination significantly reduced disease by the following:
- 39% (95%CI: 31, 45) against adult hospitalizations,
- 44% (95%CI: 41, 47) against adult ED or UC visits, and
- VE was observed across age groups and immunocompromised.
Furthermore, this flu season's estimates are higher than VE estimates against hospitalization (25%) and ED or UC visits (25%) from the 2021–22 season.
As of March 15, 2023, the CDC says various flu shots remain available at most clinics and pharmacies in the U.S., and late-season vaccinations are advised for certain at-risk people.
Over 173 million influenza vaccines have already been distributed this flu season.