Healthy Choices Blog

News and inspiration for healthy living in Northern California

CDC: Many skip the flu vaccine, risking serious illness

Published: Thursday, Dec. 19, 2013 - 9:18 am

Since the 2010-2011 flu season, health officials have recommended that everyone – from six months of age and up – get annual vaccinations.

And yet, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, only 57 percent of youths aged six months to 17 years old got a flu vaccine during the 2011-2012 season, the most recent year for which information was available. Adults 18 years and older got vaccinated at a rate of just 38 percent.

This unnecessary risk costs an estimated annual burden of potentially thousands of deaths nationwide and something like 15 million to 60 million cases of the flu, CDC Medical Officer Angela J.P. Campbell told a group of reporters with the Association of Health Care Journalism last week.

Direct medical costs are pegged at $10.4 billion. Next year, however, at least the costs should be lower. The Affordable Care Act requires that flu shots be administered free to consumers starting in January.

The Flu I.Q. widget is an interactive quiz to test your flu knowledge.

Call The Bee’s Cynthia H. Craft, (916) 321-1270.

Read more articles by Cynthia H. Craft

About Healthy Choices

Cynthia CraftCynthia H. Craft began her reporting and editing career in Columbus, Ohio, after graduating from Ohio State University. She worked at a Dallas, Texas, newspaper as an editor, and then at the Los Angeles Times, as an editor and Capitol Bureau correspondent. After working as editor in chief at the California Journal, Craft went to Lima, Peru, for three years as a visiting professor of journalism at Peruana Universidad de Ciencias Aplicadas. She was a fellow in 2012 at the National Library for Medicine in Washington, D.C. at the National Institute for Health. She's currently The Sacramento Bee's senior writer on health, a position made possible by a grant from The California Endowment.

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Phone: (916) 321-1270
On Twitter: @cynthiahcraft.

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Note: The Healthy Choices blog switched blog platforms in August 2013. All posts after the switch are found here. Older posts are available using the list below.

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