What does the population of Arizona, the number of passengers on more than one thousand cruise ships and the number of fans in a full NFL stadium have in common? The number of people making up each situation is comparable to recent data from the CDC regarding the effectiveness of the influenza vaccine during the 2012-2013 influenza season:
- Influenza vaccination resulted in 6.6 million fewer cases of influenza – that’s the same as the population of the entire state of Arizona.
- More than 1,000 cruise ships can hold about 3.2 million passengers, which is the same as the number of influenza infections requiring medical attention that were prevented by influenza vaccination.
- 79,000 fewer influenza-associated hospitalizations occurred as a result of vaccination. That’s the same as the number of spectators who can fill an entire NFL stadium.
- About 7 of 10 influenza-related hospitalizations avoided occurred in children between 6 months and 4 years of age and people older than 65, two groups of people who have an increased risk of being hospitalized when they get influenza.
Less than half of all people older than 6 years of age received the influenza vaccine during the 2012-2013 influenza season. If more people were vaccinated, the numbers of influenza-related illnesses and hospitalizations averted through vaccination would have been substantially higher.
Check out this related infographic.