Fewer Flu and Pneumonia Deaths Reported

Cell, egg, and nasal based influenza vaccines available in the U.S.
flu death trend
US CDC Influenza Death 5-Year Trend May 17, 2024
Austin (Precision Vaccinations News)

In the 20th century, influenza and pneumonia constituted the most significant proportion of infectious disease deaths in the United States. However, in the 21st century, that trend changed.

On May 20, 2024, a Major Article published by the journal AJIC analyzed crude death rates (CR) and age-adjusted mortality rates (AAMR) per 100,000 individuals calculated using influenza and pneumonia mortality data (ICD-10 Codes: J09-J18) from the U.S. CDC WONDER database.

This review found that from 1999 to 2020, influenza and pneumonia deaths totaled 1,257,088 (AAMR: 17.09), with a significantly decreasing AAMR (-2.94).

People with one underlying health condition were 39 times more likely to die of flu or pneumonia than those who had none, and those who had at least two were 202 times more likely to die.

Men had a higher AAMR (20.13) than females (15.02), with older people being the most impacted.

The Northeast had the highest AAMR (18.02), and rural regions had a consistently higher (19.80) than urban regions (16.51).

When compared with the cost of annual influenza vaccination,  the researchers concluded, "Given that a considerable number of high-risk patients rely on private physicians for their healthcare needs, the pivotal role of healthcare providers (doctors, nurses, pharmacists) is paramount in ensuring the success of public health strategies aimed at reversing the trends of influenza and pneumonia."

Furthermore, the U.S. CDC reported record lows in influenza and pneumonia deaths during the recent pandemic.

The CDC has maintained its public health message over the past decade: that most people should get an annual flu shot to reduce infections, hospitalizations, and related deaths. 

Cell, egg, and nasal-based influenza vaccines were available during the last flu season in the U.S. As of March 2024, the U.S. CDC reported about 158 million flu vaccines were distributed during the 2023-2024 season. 

As of April 27, 2024, an estimated 37 million flu shot doses were administered in retail pharmacies, and physicians' medical offices administered an estimated 25 million doses.

With the 2024-2025 flu season fast approaching, the CDC encourages everyone to speak with a healthcare provider about immunization options.

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