2017-2018 Flu Vaccine Campaign Kick-Off

In this document:

2017-2018 Flu Vaccine Campaign Kick-Off

  • On September 28, 2017, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases (NFID) along with public health and medical groups kicked off the 2017-2018 flu vaccine campaign at a press conference held at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C.
  • Members of the public and health care professionals were urged to follow the CDC’s recommendation for everyone age six months and older to be vaccinated against influenza each year.
  • S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Thomas E. Price, M.D. delivered remarks, including giving an update on final vaccination coverage estimates for the 2016-2017 influenza season, which were published in CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report and on CDC’s FluVaxView website.
  • CDC has created a landing page to house links to the online coverage reports, NFID press conference materials and information for the upcoming 2017-2018 season at https://www.cdc.gov/flu/news/2017-flu-vaccination-campaign.htm.

Summary Key Messages

  • Flu is difficult to predict, and we can’t say exactly what this season will bring, but even healthy children and adults can get flu and it can be serious.
  • Each flu season, flu causes millions of illnesses, hundreds of thousands of hospitalizations, and thousands or sometimes tens of thousands of deaths.
  • CDC estimates that since 2010, flu-related hospitalizations in the United States have ranged from a low of 140,000 to a high of 710,000 each year.
  • During that same time, CDC estimates that flu has killed between 12,000 and 56,000 people each year.
  • Protect yourself and those around you by getting your flu vaccine this season. Flu vaccination is the best available protection against flu.
  • Everyone 6 months and older should get a flu shot this year to reduce their risk of flu illness and serious flu-related complications and to protect people around them, especially those who might be more susceptible to serious flu illness.
  • Many studies show flu vaccination can offer important protection, including reducing the risk of flu-associated illness and hospitalization, reducing risk of flu illness in babies of vaccinated pregnant women, and even reducing the risk of heart attacks and strokes in older people.
  • For the 2017-2018 flu season, CDC recommends only the use of injectable influenza vaccines (flu shots), including inactivated influenza vaccines and recombinant influenza vaccines. Nasal spray flu vaccine (live attenuated influenza vaccine or LAIV) is not recommended for use this season.
  • Manufacturers project sufficient supply of flu shots. (Vaccine manufacturers estimate up to 166 doses of flu vaccine will be available in the U.S.; Nearly 74 million doses have been distributed already.)
  • Vaccine manufacturers originally projected that as many as 151 million to 166 million doses of injectable flu vaccine (i.e., inactivated and recombinant flu vaccines) would be made available for the 2017-2018 season.
  • For the 2017-2018 season, manufacturers will produce influenza vaccines containing thimerosal and some vaccines that do not contain thimerosal.
  • Approximately 130 million doses of thimerosal-free or preservative-free influenza vaccine will be produced for the 2017-2018 flu season.
  • For the 2017-2018 season, manufacturers will produce both trivalent (three-component) and quadrivalent (four-component) flu vaccines.
  • Approximately 119 million doses of quadrivalent flu vaccines will be produced for the 2017-2018 season.
  • Get a flu shot before the end of October, if possible.
  • Make flu vaccination a healthy habit, each and every year.

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Benefits of Vaccination

  • Vaccine effectiveness ranges from between about 40% and 60% overall when the vaccine viruses are well-matched to circulating viruses.
  • This means that a vaccinated person’s risk of getting sick with flu and needing to see a doctor is 40% to 60% less than that of someone who does not get vaccinated.
  • Flu vaccination can keep you from getting sick with flu.
  • Flu vaccination can reduce the risk of flu-associated hospitalization, including among children and older adults.
  • Flu vaccination is an important preventive tool for people with chronic health conditions.
    • Flu vaccination also has been shown to be associated with reduced hospitalizations among people with diabetes (79%) and chronic lung disease (52%).
  • Vaccination helps protect women during and after pregnancy. Getting vaccinated can also protect a baby after birth from flu. (Mom passes antibodies onto the developing baby during her pregnancy.) ◦
    • A study that looked at flu vaccine effectiveness in pregnant women found that vaccination reduced the risk of flu-associated acute respiratory infection by about one half.
    • There are studies that show that flu vaccine in a pregnant woman can reduce the risk of flu illness in her baby by up to half. This protective benefit was observed for up to four months after birth.
  • Flu vaccination also may make your illness milder if you do get sick.
  • With vaccine effectiveness of 42% overall, CDC estimates that flu vaccination prevented about 5.4 million cases, 2.7 million flu-related doctor’s visits and 86,000 hospitalizations last season.
  • In recent months, a study in the journal Pediatrics, showed that influenza vaccination reduced the risk of flu-associated death by half (51 percent) in children with underlying high-risk medical conditions and by nearly two-thirds (65 percent) in healthy children
  • A study in Clinical Infectious Diseases showed that flu vaccination reduced deaths, intensive care unit (ICU) admissions, ICU length of stay, and overall duration of hospitalization among adults hospitalized because of influenza.

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2016-2017 Season: Key Flu Vaccine Coverage Highlights


  • CDC estimates that last season, almost half (46.8%) of the U.S. population 6 months and older got vaccinated against flu. This is a small increase of 1.2 percentage points since the previous season (45.6%).
  • Flu vaccination coverage in children held steady at 59% last season.
  • Flu vaccination coverage among adults increased by 1.6 percentage points compared to the 2015-16 season.
  • Flu vaccination coverage among people 50 and older increased. Last year we saw a concerning decrease in flu vaccination coverage among adults 50 years and older, but it appears the numbers have rebounded.
    • Vaccination coverage among adults 50-64 was 45.4% (an increase of 1.8 percentage points) and 65.3% among adults 65 and older (an increase of 1.9 percentage points).
    • Adults 65 and older, along with those that have certain medical conditions, are at risk for more severe complications due to flu.
  • Coverage among women who were pregnant during the 2016-17 season was 53.6%, which is consistent with the 2015-16 (49.9%) and the 2014-15 (50.3%) flu seasons.
  • Among health care providers, 95.8% of doctors got vaccinated last season, which is on par with last season’s coverage.
  • Vaccination coverage is also high among pharmacists (93.7%) and nurses (92.6%).
  • As in prior seasons, coverage among healthcare personnel (HCP) working in Long Term Care (LTC) settings was lowest compared with all other settings.
    • Coverage among HCP working in LTC settings was 68% for the 2016-17 season.
  • CDC estimates that if overall flu vaccination coverage had been just 5 percentage points higher, another 490,000 illnesses and 7,000 hospitalizations could have been prevented.
  • Overall there are still too many missed opportunities to protect people from flu through vaccination

For more 2016-2017 vaccine coverage data, see the online summary report. For 2017-2018 vaccination information, visit https://www.cdc.gov/flu/professionals/acip/index.htm.


Additional bits of information: 

Weekly Update on Communicable Diseases
2016-2017 School Immunization Report
Zika Testing Update

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