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

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

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

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

Feb 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 ...

Recommended for you

Restrictions lifted at British bird flu farm

14 hours ago

Britain on Sunday lifted all restrictions at a duck farm in northern England after last month's outbreak of H5N8 bird flu, the same strain seen in recent cases across Europe.

Recorded Ebola deaths top 7,000

Dec 20, 2014

The worst Ebola outbreak on record has now killed more than 7,000 people, with many of the latest deaths reported in Sierra Leone, the World Health Organization said as United Nations Secretary-General Ban ...

Liberia holds Senate vote amid Ebola fears (Update)

Dec 20, 2014

Health workers manned polling stations across Liberia on Saturday as voters cast their ballots in a twice-delayed Senate election that has been criticized for its potential to spread the deadly Ebola disease.

Evidence-based recs issued for systemic care in psoriasis

Dec 19, 2014

(HealthDay)—For appropriately selected patients with psoriasis, combining biologics with other systemic treatments, including phototherapy, oral medications, or other biologic, may result in greater efficacy ...

User comments

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.