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Flu Vaccine Fell Short for Seniors This Season: CDC
Date:2/22/2013

gainst the flu, because even if you get sick the vaccine may make the illness milder.

"If people use these numbers not to get vaccinated, I think that will be a tragedy," Skinner said. "Some protection is certainly better than no protection at all."

The findings were published Feb. 22 in the CDC publication Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

This flu season has caused high hospitalization rates, with seniors accounting for 50 percent of all those admitted for the flu.

"This is the highest hospitalization rate [for seniors] since 2003, and may be the highest ever," Siegel said.

Also, nearly 10 percent of deaths up to Feb. 9 have been attributed to the flu or pneumonia associated with the flu. Again, the elderly were hit the hardest, Skinner said.

Sixty-four children have died from flu this season. That number is precise, because the federal government keeps track of pediatric flu deaths. No such count is kept on adults. Typically, approximately 25,000 Americans die from the flu every year, according to the CDC.

Skinner said this year's flu season started early, but seems to be winding down. "But we'll see if that trend continues," he added.

More information

For more on the flu, visit the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

SOURCES: Tom Skinner, spokesman, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; Marc Siegel, M.D., associate professor, medicine, NYU Langone Medical Center, New York City; Feb. 22, 2013, Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report


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