The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) performs studies each year to determine how well the influenza (flu) vaccine protects against flu. They recently released the 2018–2019 interim influenza vaccine effectiveness results that highlight how the vaccine helps to protect our communities from the disease. Overall, the vaccine was 47% effective in preventing individuals with laboratory confirmed influenza from needing to visit a health care provider due to flu. This season’s vaccine was found to be even more effective among those 6 months to 17 years old, preventing health care visits from flu in about 61% of those in this age group who were vaccinated.
While the flu vaccine may not always prevent illness, it has been shown to greatly reduce serious complications and even death due to flu. Recent studies have shown that influenza vaccination is 65% effective in preventing deaths in children and reduces the risk for influenza-associated hospitalizations among pregnant women and the risk for cardiac events among individuals with heart disease. Flu season is expected to continue for the next few months, so it’s not too late to get vaccinated.
To stay up-to-date on influenza activity in Arizona throughout the season, visit our new interactive dashboard and weekly reports on the ADHS website. Subscribe at azhealth.gov/email to receive the influenza report via email.