“The flu vaccine has a proven record of success,” said Dr. Frieden at the conference. “It’s not perfect, we wish it were better, but it will cut your risk of flu if the match is good by at least a half, and that’s far better than anything else you can do to protect yourself against the flu.”
The panel of experts at the news conference discussed the improvements that have been made over recent years in flu vaccine development, with more options now available in high supply ahead of the 2016-2017 flu season. “Since the first NFID flu news conference held 20 years ago, we’ve seen enormous changes in the influenza vaccine landscape,” said NFID Medical Director William Schaffner, MD. “Twenty years ago, flu vaccine recommendations were limited to people aged 65 and older and certain high risk populations. Now we know about the enormous toll that flu takes on the entire population, young and old alike, so we’ve recommended it universally every year, for everyone age 6 months and older.”
Boosting our flu vaccination coverage will keep Americans healthier and promises a reduction in US healthcare costs and fewer missed work and school days. “There’s no magic bullet to get everyone vaccinated and to improve vaccination rates,” Dr. Schaffner told the audience full of doctors and health officials. “That said, each of us can and must be part of the solution by working together to increase awareness among the pubic and healthcare professionals alike, and by getting vaccinated ourselves.”
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