iLoveBenefits: Industry News Blog

How pervasive are flu shots by age group?

According to a government report, the percentage of Americans who had received an influenza vaccination during the past 12 months, as of January-March 2015, was:

  • 71.9% of persons aged 65 and over
  •  50.7% of persons aged 50–64 years
  • 32.5% of persons aged 18–49 years
  • 51.2% of persons aged 6 months–17 years

Source: “Early Release of Selected Estimates Based on Data From the January–March 2015 National Health Interview Survey,” National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, September 2015,

Will vaccines hit the mark next flu season?

Changes to flu vaccine for 2015-16 season recommended by FDA committee The FDA’s Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee recommended an overhaul for the influenza vaccine for the 2015-16 season after the vaccine for the 2014-15 season proved to be largely ineffective. This season’s vaccine did not include the A/Switzerland/9715293/2013-like virus, which turned out to be the most prevalent strain. The World Health Organization has recommended it be included in next year’s vaccine, along with a new H1N1 A strain, A/California/7/2009 pandemic09-like virus, and B/Phuket/3073/2013-like virus, a new B strain. The FDA and CDC concur with the WHO’s suggestion. Medscape (free registration)

Most adjusted death rates continue to fall

From 2011 to 2012, the age-adjusted death rate fell 1.8% for heart disease, 1.5% for cancer, 2.4% for chronic lower respiratory diseases, 2.6% for stroke, 3.6% for Alzheimer’s disease, 1.9% for diabetes, 8.3% for influenza and pneumonia, and 2.2% for kidney disease; but the rate for suicide rose 2.4%; and the rate for unintentional injuries remained the same. Source: “Mortality in the United States, 2012,” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, NCHS Data Brief #168, October 2014,

Americans urged to get flu shots by the CDC

CDC: Fewer than 50% of Americans got a flu shot last year The CDC on Thursday said that just 46% of the general population received the flu vaccine last year and urged everyone ages 6 months and older to get a vaccine this year. Children younger than 5 and adults 65 and older had the highest flu vaccine uptake among the age groups, according to the report in the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. USA Today (9/18), HealthDay News (9/18)

September 22, 2014 | Categories: Chronic conditions,healthcare | Tags: , , | Comments (0)

Flu breakthrough promises a vaccine to kill all strains

Scientists at Oxford University have successfully tested a universal flu vaccine that could work against all known strains of the illness, taking a significant step in the fight against a disease that affects billions of people each year.

The treatment – using a new technique and tested for the first time on humans infected with flu – targets a different part of the flu virus to traditional vaccines, meaning it does not need expensive reformulation every year to match the most prevalent virus that is circulating the world.

Read more here:

Can the US Succeed in its Initiatives on Prevention

Too few heart patients use preventive therapy, study says
U.S. researchers said many heart disease patients are not taking preventive medicines that could save their lives. They said while all coronary artery disease patients should be on aspirin therapy, a survey found only 70% actually were on a preventive care regimen. United Press International (11/17)

CDC reports on vaccination rates among adults
A CDC report showed that more adults received human papillomavirus, hepatitis B and herpes zoster vaccines in 2009 than in 2008, while the rate of those who were given pneumococcal vaccine has remained steady during the same period. However, CDC officials said overall adult vaccination rates remain low and encouraged adults to get vaccines for the flu and whooping cough, to help protect children. HealthDay News (11/17) , USA TODAY (11/18)

Vaccines an Effective and Efficient Prevention Strategy

CDC reports rise in flu vaccinations, pushes for more
More people were vaccinated against the seasonal flu and the H1N1 flu this season than in any other season, according to a CDC report. The agency, however, continues to urge people to get the vaccines every year and is aiming for 60% coverage for adults and 90% coverage for people over age 65. National Post (Canada)/Reuters

May 1, 2010 | Categories: Cost,healthcare,vaccine | Tags: , , , , | Comments (0)

Public Health and Population Compliance

Low Adult Vaccination Rates
As of 2008, 33.1% of seniors ages 65 and older had not received the one-time pneumonoccal vaccine, according to a recent study. Among all adults, the following vaccination rates were found:
  • tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis (2.1%)
  • shingles (less than 2%)
  • human papillomavirus (10%)
  • seasonal influenza (36.1%). 

Source: “More than 30 Percent of Seniors Are Not Immunized Against Pneumonia in 36 States; New Report Finds Low Adult Vaccination Rates in U.S.,” Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Press Release, February 4, 2010, 

H1N1 Vaccine Availability

More Vaccine Has US Urging Swine Flu Shots For All
Finally, the nation’s supply of swine flu vaccine will reach 100 million doses by week’s end, opening the way for everyone, not just those at highest risk, to get protected. [ Associated Press | Dec 17

December 18, 2009 | Categories: healthcare,Prevention and Wellness | Tags: , , | Comments (0)

Hospitals, Doctors Deal With Swine Flu Jitters

Editor’s note: As we think about reforming healthcare in this country, we need to simultaneously think about changing the system and process of healthcare. The following is a case in point, repeated over and over. Whether it is the flu or some other ailment the emergency room has become the destination of first resort.

It is the most expensive resource in the health care system. We need to redesign not only the system, but the communications and process of education for patients. We need to triage the care seekers to more efficient and productive settings.

Without creative disruption to our current thinking and current processes there is little hope of reforming the healthcare system and bringing costs under control.

Associated Press Online
Alicia Chang

May 01, 2009

Concerns about a possible pandemic have sent people streaming into crowded emergency rooms and walk-in clinics — not with swine flu, but the swine flu jitters.

While the situation varies greatly around the country, hospitals and clinics in California, New York, Alabama and other states are dealing with a surge in what New York City Health Commissioner Thomas Frieden said are “people who are worried, but not sick.”

Coughs and sneezes that might have been ignored before the outbreak emerged are now a reason to see a doctor.

“They’re so afraid this is the killer swine flu that they want someone to look at them and test them,” said Dr. John Bradley, who heads the infectious disease division at Rady Children’s Hospital in San Diego.

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