2 in 5 Americans received flu shots this year: 5 survey findings

Though vaccinations for influenza prevented an estimated 5 million illnesses and more than 70,000 hospitalizations in 2015, the number of Americans inoculated against the virus remains low in 2016. As of early November, only two in five individuals in the U.S. had received a flu shot, according to the CDC. The numbers are comparable to those compiled for the 2015 season.

"We have a tool that is proven to prevent flu illness and hospitalization but millions of people are not taking advantage of it. Too many people are unprotected," said Nancy Messonnier, MD, director of CDC's National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases.

To estimate the nation's annual influenza vaccination coverage, researchers with the CDC examined data collected from several nationally representative surveys conducted from Oct. 1 to Nov. 12 to assess flu vaccinations received since July.

Here are five findings on flu vaccination in the U.S. for 2016.

1. Among children 6 months to 17 years of age, 37 percent received a flu shot.

2. Forty-one percent of adults were vaccinated.

3. The CDC estimates 47 percent of pregnant women received flu shots this season, marking a six percent increase from last year. Still, the rate concerns experts as it represents less than half the total population of pregnant women.

4. The vaccination rate among healthcare providers remained unchanged from 2015 to 2016 at 69 percent.

5. Flu vaccination estimates for individuals working in long-term care facilities, where many of the nation's most frail and at-risk patients receive treatment, were the lowest among all healthcare providers at 55 percent.

The CDC recommends everyone over the age of six months be vaccinate for influenza.

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