The 2013-2014 flu season began in early October 2013 and ran through late May 2014. During that time, flu outbreaks peaked at the end of December, which is determined by the number of hospitalizations and reports of influenza like symptoms tracked by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).1
Prior to the commencement of the 2013-2014 flu season, approximately 134 million doses of influenza vaccine were distributed to prevent infection among the U.S. population.1 Every year, the CDC recommends that everyone over the age of six months get vaccinated, with particular emphasis on the high risk groups — individuals under five-years-old, over 65-years-old and those with certain health conditions.2
Accordingly, healthy adults aged 18-64 are the segment least likely to get a flu shot because they feel less vulnerable to infection.3 However, during the 2013-2014 flu season, this demographic saw unprecedented levels of flu illnesses. In fact, more than 60 percent of flu-associated hospitalizations were of those aged 18-64.3
These staggering numbers only stand to emphasize that regardless of an individual’s current health, no one is immune to influenza. It has been proven that the most effective way to protect yourself against the flu is through vaccination. However, by November 2013, only 39.5 percent of the U.S. population had gotten their seasonal flu shots.4
With that in mind, why aren’t more Americans getting vaccinated? According to several studies, a significant percentage of people forego vaccinations because of an aversion to needle injections.6,7,8
For the 2014-2015 flu season, PharmaJet Needle-Free flu shots will be available to help increase the vaccination compliance.
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- “What You Should Know for the 2013-2014 Influenza Season.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. N.p., n.d. Web.
- “Seasonal Influenza.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. N.p., n.d. Web.
- “CDC Reports Flu Hit Younger People Particularly Hard this Season.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. N.p., n.d. Web.
- “National Early Season Fly Vaccination Coverage, United States, November 2013.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. N.p., n.d. Web.
- “Current Flu Situation.” flu.gov. N.p., n.d. Web.
- Nir Y, Paz A, Sabo E, Potasman I. Fear of injections in young adults: prevalence and associations. Am J Trop Med Hyg 2003; 68: 341-4.
- Wright S, Yelland M, Heathcote K, Ng SK, Wright G. Fear of needles-nature and prevalence in general practice. Aust Fam Physician 2009; 38: 172-6.
- Taddio A, Ipp M, Thivakaran S, et al. Survey of the prevalence of immunization non-compliance due to needle fears in children and adults. Vaccine 2012; 30.
- Target Corporation. (2012). Target Survey Shows Adult Americans May Avoid the Flu Shot Due to Fear of Needles.