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CDC publishes efficacy data for children and the elderly

CDC publishes efficacy data for children and the elderly


Paquita Bonillo, 84, receives her fourth dose of Covid-19 and flu vaccines in the garden of the Faixa Llarga Orphanage in Barcelona, ​​Spain, on September 26, 2022.

Zoe Feet | Getty Images

The flu vaccine was 68% effective in preventing hospitalization in children, but not in older adults this season. According to preliminary data released Wednesday According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The vaccine was 35% effective in preventing hospitalization in older adults in one study and 42% in a second analysis.

In people with weak immune systems, the vaccine reduced the risk of hospitalization by 44% in one study and 30% in another.

The flu swept through the beginning of the season as weekly hospitalization rates peaked in December and then declined, according to CDC data. Influenza has caused 25 million illnesses, 280,000 hospitalizations and 18,000 deaths since October. Over 100 children have died from the flu this season.

Influenza cases surged last fall, two years after the virus circulated at low levels due to masking and social distancing measures in place during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Dr. Jose Romero, director of the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, said the Covid, influenza and respiratory syncytial virus epidemics are putting enormous pressure on U.S. hospitals and the pharmaceutical supply chain. .

Romero told the CDC’s independent advisory panel on Wednesday, “After an expected brief increase in hospitalizations and cases around the holidays, Covid, flu and RSV cases and hospitalizations continue to decline nationwide now. There is,’ he said.

“Influenza activity is declining, but it is still possible for a second wave to occur later in the season, as it has in the past,” Romero said.

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Children and the elderly are usually most at risk of severe illness from influenza. As of late January, about 52% of children and about 70% of the elderly had been vaccinated against influenza. According to CDC data. CDC recommends seasonal vaccinations for everyone over the age of 6 months.

The effectiveness of influenza vaccines varies greatly from season to season, depending on how well the strains included in the vaccination match the circulating viruses. CDC staffer Dr. Lisa Grohskopf said the match between vaccines and circulating influenza strains this season is pretty good.

Last fall, hospitals were hit hard by Covid, influenza and respiratory syncytial virus co-infections.Children’s Hospital Association to the Biden Administration declare a public health emergency In November, he called the surge in hospitalizations at the time “disturbing.”

Covid and flu vaccinations are widely available, but there is no vaccine for RSV. Several companies are developing shots for seniors that could receive Food and Drug Administration approval later this year.

Pfizer is developing a vaccine to protect infants from RSV, and Sanofi is asking the FDA to approve an antibody called nirsevimab that protects children up to the age of two.

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