North Dakota health officials report preliminary influenza vaccine effectiveness data
BISMARCK, N.D. – The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently published interim estimates of vaccine effectiveness data for the 2019-2020 seasonal influenza vaccine. The overall vaccine effectiveness against any influenza virus was 45%. This means that overall, the seasonal flu vaccine reduced the risk of getting sick and having to go the doctor from flu by about half.
There have been over 100 pediatric flu deaths in the United States so far this season. This number is higher for the same time period than every season since 2004-2005, excluding the 2009 H1N1 pandemic. During the 2018-2019 influenza season there were 144 reported pediatric deaths in the United States. Many of those deaths occurred in children who had not received a flu vaccine.
“Influenza activity is currently high in North Dakota. It is not too late to be vaccinated against influenza. Everyone six months and older should be vaccinated, regardless of age or health status,” said Levi Schlosser, Influenza Surveillance Coordinator with the NDDoH. “Anyone can get the flu, including healthy individuals, and getting the flu vaccine is the easiest and safest way to protect yourself, as well as your friends, family, and community this season.”
The flu vaccine not only can prevent someone from getting sick but can reduce the risk of influenza-associated hospitalization and death. Studies have shown that if someone still gets sick but is vaccinated, they have less severe illness, reduce their risk of being hospitalized, and spend fewer days in the hospital when they are hospitalized.
People who have not received their influenza vaccine yet this season should get it as soon as possible as it takes about two weeks for the vaccine to provide full protection. For information about vaccine availability, people should contact their local public health unit, health care provider, or pharmacist. For information about influenza, visit www.ndflu.com.
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For more information, contact:
North Dakota Department of Health
2635 East Main Avenue | Bismarck, ND 58505-0200
Phone: 701-328-2378 | Email: firstname.lastname@example.org