Vaccines Offer the Best Protection Against Severe Influenza
With a potentially severe respiratory season ahead, data released today by the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases (NFID) indicates many Americans are unaware of their health risks.
The 2022 National Survey: Attitudes about Influenza and Pneumococcal Disease, and the Impacts of COVID-19, was released by the NFID on October 4, 2022, indicating only 49% of adults plan to get an influenza vaccination during the 2022-2023 flu season.
Leading health experts from NFID and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are urging everyone aged six months and older to vaccinate against influenza during October 2022.
CDC Director Rochelle P. Walensky, MD, MPH, is encouraging the public to prioritize flu shots now!
"Last flu season, nearly half of adults received their flu vaccine—with adults age 65 years and older leading in flu vaccine coverage," said Dr. Walensky during today's digital news conference.
"With a potentially challenging flu season ahead, I urge everyone to protect themselves and their families from flu and its potentially serious complications."
"Schedule your flu vaccine today."
According to the NFID survey released today, most (69%) U.S. adults recognize that annual flu vaccination is the best preventive measure against flu-related hospitalization and deaths.
Furthermore, most adults (58%) report that they will wear a mask at least sometimes during flu season, a preventive behavior that represents a significant change compared to pre-pandemic flu seasons.
The NFID survey also shows that the majority (78%) of adults aged 65 years and older know that certain flu vaccines (high dose, recombinant, and adjuvanted flu vaccines) are preferentially recommended this year for them, as they help boost the immune response in older adults.
In the U.S., the CDC and U.S. FDA have authorized various flu shots, which are generally available at clinics and pharmacies.
"Based on what we have seen in parts of the Southern Hemisphere, flu has the potential to hit us hard this year," commented NFID Medical Director William Schaffner, MD.
The Pan American Health Organization reported on September 28, 2022, influenza activity remained low in Brazil, the Caribbean, and Central America.
And Australia Public Health reported on September 16, 2022, the number of sentinel hospital patients with influenza was 'low to moderate.'
In the year to date, of the 224,565 notifications of laboratory-confirmed influenza, 305 influenza-associated deaths have been notified in Australia.
Furthermore, in the U.S., the CDC published its Weekly Influenza Surveillance Report on September 30, 2022, which confirmed of 50,292 flu samples tested by clinical labs, 677 were found positive for influenza.
And the Texas Department of Health and Human Services influenza surveillance report issued on September 24, 2022, confirmed three Texas Regions: 7, 8, and 11 are now influenza hot spots.
The Texas report #38 indicates that 3.56% of specimens tested (6749/240) were found positive for influenza viruses.
In closing today's conference, Dr. Walensky suggested anyone with questions about this flu season should speak with their healthcare provider as soon as possible.
Founded in 1973, the NFID is a non-profit organization dedicated to educating the public and healthcare professionals about the burden, causes, prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of infectious diseases across the lifespan. For additional information, visit www.nfid.org.
Additional 2022-2023 fu season news is posted at PrecisionVaccinations.com/Flu.
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