The Importance of Vaccinations

National Immunization Awareness Month (NIAM) is an annual observance held each August to highlight the importance of vaccinations for people of all ages. Communities across the country use this time each year to raise awareness about the important role vaccines play in preventing serious, sometimes deadly, diseases across the lifespan. With children back in school and the return of flu season, WellDyneRx is doing its part to make sure our clients and plan participants understand the importance of these inoculations in maintaining good health.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) created a quiz to help parents understand which vaccines their children need to stay protected. It is applicable for infant children all the way up to 18 years of age. Take the quiz at https://www2a.cdc.gov/vaccines/childquiz.

Also, with the flu season fast approaching, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) released vaccine lots for distribution by manufacturers. The 2018-2019 trivalent influenza vaccine formulation contains the following:

  • An A/Michigan/45/2015 (H1N1) pdm09- like virus
  • An A/Singapore/INFIMH-16-0019/2016 (H3N2)-like virus

A B/Colorado/06/2017-like virus (B/Victoria lineage)

In addition, the quadrivalent influenza vaccine contains the above three strains and the following additional B strain:

  • A B/Phuket/3073/2013-like virus (B/ Yamagata lineage)

Many Americans do not receive an annual flu vaccination, despite the long safety record and proven public health benefit in terms of preventing illnesses, hospitalizations, and even death in children.1 The 2017-2018 season was the third overall highest severity season since 2003-2004, and the first classified as high severity for all age groups.2

The peak percentage of outpatient visits for ILI (U.S. Outpatient Influenza-Like Illness Surveillance Network) was the third highest recorded since 1997-98, when ILINet was implemented.2

Typically, the direct cost of flu season hospitalizations and outpatient care in the U.S. is approximately $10 billion.4 In addition to health care costs, employers also experience financial losses when employees are ill with the flu. Estimates for lost productivity across the nation for the 2017-18 flu season were upwards of $9 billion.3 Employers can reduce these losses by encouraging and/or providing flu shots to their employees.

Benefits of flu vaccinations4

  • Flu vaccination can keep individuals from getting sick with the flu
  • Flu vaccination can reduce the risk of flu-associated hospitalization
  • Flu vaccination is an important preventive tool for people with chronic health conditions
  • Flu vaccination may make an individual’s illness milder
  • Getting vaccinated protects others

For more information about the importance of obtaining a flu vaccine, visit: https://www.cdc.gov/flu/protect/keyfacts.htm.

REFERENCES:

  1. National Early-Season Flu Vaccination Coverage, United States, November 2017. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, https://www.cdc.gov/flu/fluvaxview/nifs-estimates-nov2017.htm
  2. Update: Influenza Activity in the United States During the 2017- 18 Season and Composition of the 2018-19 Influenza Vaccine. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/67/wr/mm6722a4.htm?s_cid+mm6722a4_w
  3. Gillett, Rachel. ‘The $9 billion reason you should never show up to work sick.’ Business Insider, Business Insider, 22 March 2018 , https://www.businessinsider.com/2018-flu-season-will-cost-employers-billions-2018-1
  4. Key Facts About Seasonal Flu Vaccine. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, https://www.cdc.gov/flu/protect/keyfacts.htm

2018 Quarter Three WellInformed Table Contents