A spike in flu cases in early fall pushed U.S. hospitalization rates for the disease to a decade high for this time of year in the United States.
health officials said on Friday, noting that vaccination rates were falling.
With rising flu cases comes pressure on hospitals from respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) and COVID cases, officials said, urging people to get vaccinated and offering to help states who may need additional support.
“There is no doubt that we will face challenges this winter,” U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response Dawn O’Connell told reporters, adding that the flu season so far doesn’t seem more serious but has arrived earlier. than is typical.
There have been 5 million fewer flu vaccine doses given to American adults so far this year compared to the same time last year, officials said.
Flu vaccination is about the same for children this year, but overall is down 6% from before the COVID pandemic began in 2020.
About 5% fewer pregnant women have been vaccinated against the flu so far this season, which officials say is particularly concerning because the vaccine protects both the expectant mother and her baby, officials added.
Influenza vaccines in the United States are manufactured by Sanofi SA, GSK and Seqirus, a unit of CSL Ltd.
(Reporting by Julie Steenhuysen and Susan Heavey; Editing by Bill Berkrot)
US flu hospitalizations hit their highest level in a decade: Health officials appeared first in Canadian media.