American Society of Registered Nurses
American Society of Registered Nurses

Flu Vaccinations May Have Staved Off 7.1M Illnesses, 8,000 Deaths In 2017-18 Season

Influenza vaccinations significantly reduced the number of flu-related illnesses, medical visits and hospitalizations during the 2017-18 flu season, according to a study.

By Anuja Vaidya

Influenza vaccinations significantly reduced the number of flu-related illnesses, medical visits and hospitalizations during the 2017-18 flu season, according to a study.

Researchers used national age-specific estimates of 2017-18 flu vaccine coverage and disease burden for the study.

They found that vaccine effectiveness against outpatient, medically attended, laboratory-confirmed flu was 38 percent.

The research team estimated that vaccination against the flu prevented:

• 7.1 million illnesses

• 3.7 million medical visits

• 109,000 hospitalizations

• 8,000 deaths

Overall, vaccination prevented 10 percent of expected hospitalizations.

"Our results demonstrate the benefit of current influenza vaccination and the need for improved vaccines," study authors concluded.