Flu shot likely prevented 13 million illnesses, 110,000 hospitalizations from 2005-2011

June 19, 2013

Approximately 13 million illnesses and over 110,00 hospitalizations may have been averted by the flu vaccine over the last 6 years in the U.S, according to calculations published June 19 in the open access journal PLOS ONE by Deliana Kostova and colleagues from the U.S Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The researchers calculated the healthcare burden of flu cases that would have occurred in the absence of vaccination based on factors such as illness and hospitalization rates during the flu season, and vaccine effectiveness. Based on these data, Kostova and colleagues estimate that flu vaccines averted several million instances of illness and over 110,000 flu-related hospitalizations in the flu seasons of 2006 to 2011. The largest number of averted cases occurred during the most recent period studied, 2010-2011, when 5 million flu cases, 2.1 million medical visits and 40,400 hospitalizations were prevented by vaccination.

The U.S is the only country with universal recommendations that suggest everyone aged 6 months and older should receive an annual dose of the vaccine. However, previous studies have not provided ways to reliably assess the number of flu cases or hospitalizations that are prevented by vaccination each year. Senior author on the study Joseph Bresee adds, ""These results confirm the value of influenza vaccination, but highlight the need for more people to get vaccinated and the imperative for vaccines with greater efficacy, especially in the elderly".

More information: Kostova D, Reed C, Finelli L, Cheng P-Y, Gargiullo PM, et al. (2013) Influenza Illness and Hospitalizations Averted by Influenza Vaccination in the United States, 2005. PLoS ONE 8(6): e66312. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0066312

Related Stories

Flu season's approaching so roll up your sleeve

September 27, 2012

(HealthDay)—The only thing predictable about the flu is its unpredictability, U.S. health officials said Thursday, as they urged virtually all Americans to get vaccinated for the coming season.

CDC: 2012-2013 flu vaccine not as effective in elderly

February 25, 2013

(HealthDay)—Vaccination against influenza for the 2012/2013 flu season appears to be moderately effective in reducing the need for outpatient medical attention, but the effect is lower in the elderly, according to research ...

Recommended for you

Experimental MERS vaccine shows promise in animal studies

July 28, 2015

A two-step regimen of experimental vaccines against Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) prompted immune responses in mice and rhesus macaques, report National Institutes of Health scientists who designed the vaccines. ...

Can social isolation fuel epidemics?

July 21, 2015

Conventional wisdom has it that the more people stay within their own social groups and avoid others, the less likely it is small disease outbreaks turn into full-blown epidemics. But the conventional wisdom is wrong, according ...

Lack of knowledge on animal disease leaves humans at risk

July 20, 2015

Researchers from the University of Sydney have painted the most detailed picture to date of major infectious diseases shared between wildlife and livestock, and found a huge gap in knowledge about diseases which could spread ...

IBD genetically similar in Europeans and non-Europeans

July 20, 2015

The first genetic study of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) to include individuals from diverse populations has shown that the regions of the genome underlying the disease are consistent around the world. This study, conducted ...

1 comment

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

PeterD
1 / 5 (2) Jun 21, 2013
The biggest lie in medicine! The flue shot is a total scam, as real science has proved many times.

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.