Did low vaccination rates help make the last flu season so deadly?

By Maggie Fox

Only 37 percent of Americans got vaccinated against flu last season, just as one of the deadliest flu season in decades hit, health officials reported Thursday.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention published its final estimates on the past flu season on Thursday. They show a severe influenza epidemic hit just as fewer Americans got the vaccine.

“Flu vaccination coverage among adults was 37.1 percent, a decrease of 6.2 percentage points from the previous flu season,” the CDC said in its latest report.

The result: More than 79,000 people died, close to 1 million ended up in the hospital and 48 million people got sick. Adult flu deaths are estimated but the CDC counts every child who dies of flu. Last season, 183 children died of influenza, the final numbers show.

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Gladys Benson

Gladys Benson

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