2014 Flu Season Resources
& Vaccine Information
PAMF Flu Season Summary 2013-2014
Written by: Charlie Weiss, M.D.
Chair, PAMF Infectious Diseases Committee
Medical Director, PAMF Flu Commitee
April 10, 2014
Flu activity began to increase among PAMF patients in late December 2013 and peaked in the week ending January 18, 2014. This peak is several weeks later than the national peak which occurred in the last week of December.
Flu is still circulating at low levels and may persist as late as May, so getting vaccinated against the flu still makes sense as of this writing.
Influenza A (H1N1)—the same virus that caused the 2009 pandemic—predominated over the A (H3N2) and B strains. There was an excellent match between the two A strains and the vaccine. The trivalent vaccine provided good coverage for the single B strain included in it (the Yamagata strain) which comprised 67 percent of B strains isolated by the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) this season.
The quadrivalent gave protection against both circulating B lineages (Yamagata and Victoria). Overall vaccine effectiveness was estimated by the CDC as about 60 percent, which is considered good for flu vaccines.
While the level of illness caused by flu in the 2013-2014 season has been considered moderate, our providers reported multiple instances of young and middle-aged adults becoming quite ill from the A (H1N1) strain as was the case during the 2009 pandemic.
In fact, 60 percent of hospitalizations from flu this season occurred in adults 18 to 64 years of age, in contrast to a typical season where seniors overwhelmingly predominate among those admitted to the hospital. Young and middle aged adults have the lowest flu vaccination rate in the country, around 30 percent.
We should all join in an effort to boost the vaccination rate among the 18 to 64-year-olds in the 2014-2015 season, along with those traditionally considered high risk (infants, pregnant women, the elderly, and those with chronic medical conditions).
See you in September!
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If you or a family member has a concern that is not answered on these flu websites, please contact your health care provider.
Thank you and stay well.
Cost of Flu Vaccination at PAMF:
Flu vaccines given during an office visit may include an additional fee if physician review and counseling with patient/family is required.
Check with your health insurance company to find out if the cost of your annual flu vaccination is covered under your insurance plan.
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