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)

“Back – Boost” – anticipating future strains

I wonder how many other diseases might share this linkage to pre-emptive ‘immunology engineering’?

Technique might strengthen protection provided by flu vaccine Researchers found that an influenza infection triggers the immune system to protect not only against the circulating flu strain it is designed to fight, but also other strains that have infected an individual in the past, according to a study published in Science. This “back-boost,” as researchers called it, may allow the creation of flu vaccines that anticipate future strains, preemptively heading off an outbreak. Reuters (11/20)

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)

Percent of Adults Who Received Influenza and Pneumococcal Vaccinations

Percent of Adults Who Received Influenza and Pneumococcal Vaccinations

Vaccination rate among entering kindergarten students dip only slightly

2011-12 school year kindergarteners in 47 reporting states and DC had a 1.5% median total exemption level for required vaccinations on medical, religious, and philosophic grounds, representing a median increase of 0.2 percentage points compared with the 2009–10 school year.

Source: “Vaccination Coverage Among Children in Kindergarten — United States, 2011–12 School Year,’ Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, August 24, 2012,

Technology, applications and online access continue to drive innovation

MIT-built heart rate app is flush with success
A Massachusetts Institute of Technology-built application called Cardio permits users to determine their heart rates simply by staring at the smartphone display. “The app measures the amount of light reflected off the face, which matches up to the amount of blood pumped into the face,” writes Ariel Schwartz. Clinical trials show the app to be accurate within three beats of a gold-standard clinical pulse oximeter. FastCoExist (8/10)

Poll: Doctors drive health app downloads among baby boomers
A survey by Mitchell PR showed 60% of baby boomers surveyed said they were most likely to download a health application upon physician recommendation. Researchers also found 48% would download an app to monitor heart disease, diabetes or other chronic disease, and 47% would do so to track weight and exercise. American Medical News (free content) (8/13)

Social media connects, empowers health care providers
Social media site Doximity is allowing health care providers to create professional networks of specialists with whom to confer and to share patient records. “Utilizing socially rooted tools to collaborate among colleagues and experts [whom] we might not otherwise have access to improves care and improves the speed and efficiency with which we can offer that care,” said Dr. Howard Luks. USA TODAY (8/13)

ONC supports Ind. effort to boost access to vaccine records
A website called MyVaxIndiana, launched by Indiana public health officials to boost patient and parent access to immunization records, is receiving praise and support from the ONC. Parents can obtain a personal identification number from physicians to view the child’s immunization history and suggested vaccine schedules based on guidelines developed by the CDC. Modern Healthcare (subscription required) (8/13

Health indicators for adolescents on the rise

Findings From the ‘America’s Children in Brief: Key National Indicators of Well-Being, 2012’ Report

A drop in births to adolescents, from 20 per 1,000 girls ages   15 to 17 (2009) to 17 per 1,000 (2010, preliminary data)
A drop in the proportion of infants born before 37 weeks’   gestation (preterm), from 12.2 percent (2009) to 12.0 percent (2010,   preliminary data)
A drop in deaths before the first birthday, from 6.4 per 1,000   births (2009) to 6.1 per 1,000 births (2010, preliminary data)
An increase in vaccination coverage with one dose or more of   the meningococcal conjugate vaccine for adolescents ages 13-17, from 12   percent (2006) to 63 percent (2010)
A drop in the percentage of children, birth to 6 years of age,   living in a home where someone smoked regularly, from 8.4 percent (2005) to   6.1 percent (2010)
A rise in the percentage of children from birth to 17 years of   age living in counties in which levels of one or more air pollutants were   above allowable levels, from 59 percent (2009) to 67 percent (2010)

Source: Federal Interagency Forum on Child and Family Statistics

For First Time, Unicef Reveals Differences in Prices It Pays Drug Companies for Vaccines

The United Nations Children’s Fund on Friday publicly listed for the first time the price it pays for vaccines.

The decision — which immediately revealed wide disparities in what vaccine makers charge — could lead to drastic cuts in prices for vaccines that save millions of children’s lives.

Read more here:


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:

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