In the News: Flu shots save lives

Though the flu shot is known to be less than 100% effective, a recent study confirmed that the flu shot dramatically reduces the risk of death in children and adolescents. From July 2010 through June 2014, 358 laboratory-confirmed influenza-caused deaths were reported in the U.S. among children age 6 months through 17 years. Vaccination status was known for 291 of those who died. By comparing the immunization and death rates to 3 different comparison groups over 4 influenza seasons, it was estimated that being vaccinated against influenza decreased the risk of dying from influenza by 50% among children at high risk for death from the flu and by 66% among children at low risk for death from the flu.

Bottom line: Protection from the flu shot isn’t 100%, nor is the risk of death from the flu 0% if you’ve been vaccinated. But the risk of getting the flu and dying from it are significantly reduced by flu shots.

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