Pneumonia Outpaces COVID-19 and Influenza Fatalities

Pneumonia can be prevented with flu shots
Pneumonia influenza fatalities
U.S. CDC weekly flu season report
Atlanta (Precision Vaccinations)

While most people know pneumonia is a severe disease, few realize it is causing more harm than COVID-19 or influenza this year.

Pneumonia, an infection of the lungs, needlessly affects millions of people each year.

Globally, pneumonia killed more than 740,000 young children in 2019.

This is greater than fatalities from any infectious disease, such as HIV infection, malaria, or tuberculosis.

Unfortunately, this trend is continuing in 2022.

In late December, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) Mortality Surveillance data available on December 29, 2022, indicated about 12% of the deaths that occurred last week were due to pneumonia, influenza, and/or COVID-19 (PIC).

Among the 2,117 PIC deaths reported by the NCHS during week #51, 968 listed pneumonia as an underlying or contributing cause of death on the death certificate, 866 had COVID-19, and 283 listed influenza.

In meta-analyses, influenza vaccination was found to significantly reduces pneumonia-influenza-related hospitalizations.

And the risk of post-influenza pneumonia was also decreased.

And on May 31, 2022, a peer-reviewed Original Investigation published by The JAMA Network found that patients with pneumonia admitted to hospitals with high all-cause readmission rates were more likely to develop adverse events.

The good news from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is that vaccines can help prevent pneumonia, including the annual flu shot.

The CDC's current Director, Dr. Rochelle Walensky, stated in a recent news briefing, "I want to emphasize that flu vaccination can be life-saving and importantly there is still time to get vaccinated to be protected against flu this season."

As of December 10, 2022, the CDC reported that about 157.61 million flu shots had been distributed in the U.S. this year.

And these flu vaccines are generally available at clinics in pharmacies in the U.S.

Disclosures: Data was sourced from the CDC and peer-reviewed studies. No industry conflicts of interest were disclosed.