In addition, the vaccine can also prevent thousands of hospitalizations and deaths, the study authors estimate based on the average immunization coverage in the United States.
Due to viruses, influenza is an infectious respiratory disease with mild to severe symptoms that can sometimes lead to death. The flu virus is developing rapidly and new viruses are circulating in different parts of the world, so scientists need to reformulate the vaccine every year. In addition, an incomplete manufacturing process and even a "good match"
re formulation may not be as effective as scientists would like.
For the new study, Singer and his colleagues created a mathematical model of influenza vaccination and vaccination to assess how much illness is even prevented by a flu vaccine with very low efficacy. The research team noted that even with the average rate of US care, even a bad vaccine would prevent a significant amount of illnesses, hospital admissions and deaths.
For example, with only 43% coverage (the average rate of Americans who have received a flu shot for the years 2012 through 2017) a vaccine with only 20% efficacy could not avert more than 20 million infections or illnesses Get vaccine. In addition, 129,000 hospital admissions and 61,000 deaths were prevented.
When more people receive flu vaccinations, say half of the US population, the same 20% effective flu vaccine would prevent another 3.63 million infections, 21,987 hospital admissions, and 8,479 deaths.
"When a vaccine is fully effective at 50% or more of the vaccinated individuals need it They focus primarily on the vaccination of infants, "said Singer. The reason? Children still build up immunity and they pass on germs at school.
"As vaccine efficacy diminishes, it is becoming increasingly important for older people to be vaccinated in addition to small children," Singer said, as elderly people are more likely to develop complications from the flu, such as pneumonia.
" The message from the past couple of seasons is that there is much room for improvement, "said Webby, who was not involved in the research was.
More people, especially older people, still need to get vaccinated even if vaccine efficacy is lower than hoped, Webby said: "This study suggests that even with a less than optimal vaccine, there is still a lot of public health benefits can be achieved if used properly and widely. "