The ABC News (9/27, Larotonda) “Medical Unit” blog reports that while the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says “more children than ever have been vaccinated against influenza,” health experts say the number is still too low as the flu season starts. At a CDC press conference held by the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases on Thursday, “officials praised the upward movement…but cautioned it could still cause problems.” According to CDC assistant surgeon general, Dr. Anne Schuchat, “Last year it came early and it came hard and we’d like to get as many people vaccinated as possible before that.”
At the press conference, assistant secretary for health at the Department of Health and Human Services, Dr. Howard Koh said, “Everyone 6 months of age and older should receive a flu vaccine,” CBS News (9/27, Jaslow) website reports. Koh added, “Despite substantial progress, we can do even more to make our country healthier through prevention.” A report card comparing the vaccination rates of previous years with last year’s was revealed during the press conference, showing “coverage rose 5 percent year over year for children aged 6 months through 17 years old, with about 57 percent” receiving vaccinations. In adults 18 and older, 41.5 percent were vaccinated, an increase of around 3 percent.
On its website, NBC News (9/27, Fox) reports that “72 percent of health care staff got the vaccine,” but “only 59 percent of people working on long-term care facilities were vaccinated against flu last year.” Among pregnant women only 51 percent were vaccinated, and with pregnant women being more susceptible to the flu, “more work is needed” in getting them vaccinated. The report found that when offered a flu shot on the spot by their doctor, 70 percent of pregnant women received one, compared to 46 percent that “were vaccinated if their doctors recommended it but didn’t offer it then and there.”
Also reporting on the story are the AP (9/27, Neergaard), Time (9/26, Sifferlin), the Washington Times (9/27, Somers), the Orlando (FL) Sentinel (9/26, Jameson), the Hartford (CT) Courant (9/26, Weir), MedPage Today (9/27, Smith), Medscape (9/27, Tucker), HealthDay (9/27, Reinberg), and Modern Healthcare (9/26, Subscription Publication).