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NFID Urges Americans to Receive Influenza and Pneumococcal Vaccines

The NFID released data revealing that only 52% of adults in the United States plan to get vaccinated against the flu this season.

The National Foundation for Infectious Diseases (NFID) is continuing to encourage adults and children 6 months of age and older to get vaccinated, following the organization's 2019 Influenza/Pneumococcal News Conference on Thursday, September 26, 2019. The NFID also released data that revealed that only 52% of adults in the United States plan to get vaccinated against the flu this season.

Vaccine hesitation is a public health concern across the nation, and William Schaffner, MD, medical director of the NFID, is adamant about changing patient perceptions. In his opening statement for the conference, Schaffner reminded the audience that “unless we all start to prioritize prevention, vaccine-preventable diseases will persist in the United States”.

Estimates from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) show the overall flu vaccination coverage increased over the past decade, with a 51% increase in children age 6 months to 17 years getting vaccinated between 2010-2011. However, data indicate that about 45% of United States adults remain unprotected each year.

The benefits of receiving the flu shot outweigh the negative, according to reports from the CDC. For example, receiving the flu shot can reduce the risk of flu-associated hospitalization for children, working-age adults, and older adults. A 2018 study revealed that from 2012 to 2015, flu vaccination among adults reduced the risk of being admitted to an intensive care unit with influenza by 82%.

In addition, getting vaccinated can help prevent serious medical events associated with some chronic conditions. Separate studies have shown that flu vaccination has also been associated with reducing hospitalizations among people with diabetes and chronic lung disease.

For the 2019-2020 season, vaccine manufacturers have estimated up to 169 million doses of influenza vaccine will be available in the United States. The composition of the vaccines has been updated to protect against the influenza viruses that research suggests will be most common this season.

“We must continue to educate everyone, especially older adults (age 65 years and older) and those with chronic health conditions, about their risk for flu and pneumococcal disease,” Schaffner said. “Pneumococcal vaccines can be given at the same time as a flu vaccine, so it’s a great time to speak with a health care professional about which vaccines are best for you.”

The article, NFID Urges Public to Receive Influenza and Pneumococcal Disease Vaccinations, was originally published on PharmacyTimes.com.