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Flu Vaccination Rates Rising, CDC reports

Update Date: Sep 27, 2013 02:04 PM EDT
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When the flu season starts, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends everyone older than six months to get vaccinated. Despite this recommendation, vaccination rates have not been as high as the CDC would hope. However, according to a new report, the CDC revealed that advances in flu vaccines and programs to increase vaccination rates have paid off. Based from the latest statistics from the 2012-2013 flu season, vaccination rates have increased.

According to the report, the vaccination rate for children between the ages of six months and 17-years-old have increased 5.1 percent to 56.6 percent. For adults, the vaccination rate increased 2.7 percent to 41 percent. Overall, the vaccination rate for the entire U.S. population was 45 percent. Even though these percentages are still relatively low, any increase in these rates is an optimistic sign. Despite these increases, the researchers found disparities when it came to race and ethnicity. On the upside, these racial and ethnic disparities were not seen in children.

"Despite substantial progress, we can do even more to make our country healthier through prevention. Flu vaccination should represent a simple investment we make year in and year out to maximize the gift of health," said Dr. Howard Koh reported by TIME.

"Last year it came early and it came hard and we'd like to get as many people vaccinated as possible before that," said Dr. Anne Schuchat, according to ABC News. "You don't want to have to have a member of your family die or lose a patient from this disease to get the message that it can be serious."

The new data was announced by Koh, the assistant secretary of health at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and Schuchat, the assistant surgeon general with the CDC during a press conference.

For this upcoming season, there are new flu vaccine options created to increase the vaccination rates. For more information on these vaccine options, you can visit Counsel&Heal's "New Flu Season, New Flu Vaccines."  

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