Earth Science News  





. Flu Vaccines Plentiful Amid Low Demand

The flu kills an average of 36,000 Americans each year, and almost 200,000 are hospitalized because of flu-related complications.
by Leah Carliner
UPI Correspondent
Washington (UPI) Nov 28, 2006
A record number of flu vaccinations will be available this season, although demand for the vaccine remains low, government officials said Monday. "We do need to increase demand," Health and Human Services Secretary Mike Leavitt said at a news conference in Washington. "We have increased supply, (so) demand needs to follow."

Ninety-two million doses have been distributed so far this flu season -- the largest effort so far, according to HHS. In November, the middle of flu season, interest in the vaccine usually decreases.

"National interest in getting a flu vaccination has traditionally tapered off after Thanksgiving, so we wanted to give it an extra boost today," Leavitt said.

Influenza doesn't peak until February or in some cases even later, so the time to get vaccinated is now, he said.

HHS Assistant Secretary Admiral John O. Agwunobi said that getting vaccinated is important for your own health and for the health of those around you.

"Some might say that an even greater benefit of the flu vaccine is the fact that you protect your loved ones when you protect yourself," Agwunobi said.

It's too early to determine how many Americans have actually received the vaccination so far this flu cycle, although about 115 million doses should have been made available for the American people by the end of the flu season.

"Distribution is always a problem," Leavitt said. "But we are in a position to help when we know that there are shortages."

The 115 million doses distributed this season will be a 16-percent increase from last season, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

National Influenza Vaccination Week, which officials announced Monday, is designed to highlight the importance of the flu vaccination and to encourage anyone who has not yet been vaccinated to do so, Leavitt said.

"It's important that we reach every person possible ... the flu is a serious disease."

The flu kills an average of 36,000 Americans each year, and almost 200,000 are hospitalized because of flu-related complications.

In order to reach Americans throughout the week, HHS officials and partners in the private and non-profit sector will be holding public awareness events, sending letters to state and county officials and using Internet messages to stress the importance of the vaccine, said Leavitt.

Influenza is spread primarily through respiratory transmissions, and the disease typically incubates within the infected person for an average of two days. The best way to prevent the flu is to get vaccinated. Symptoms include high fever, headache, fatigue, a runny or stuffy nose, body aches and diarrhea and vomiting, which is most common among children.

In some people flu can lead to serious medical problems, such as bacterial pneumonia, dehydration or worsening of existing conditions including congestive heart failure, asthma or diabetes.

The vaccine is especially recommended for adults over the age of 50, children under the age of 5, those with chronic illnesses, pregnant women, healthcare workers and household caregivers of high-risk persons.

Source: United Press International

Related Links
The science and news of Epidemics on Earth

Setting The Stage To Find Drugs Against SARS
Upton NY (SPX) Nov 20, 2006
Scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy's Brookhaven National Laboratory have set the stage for the rapid identification of compounds to fight against severe acquired respiratory syndrome (SARS), the atypical pneumonia responsible for about 800 deaths worldwide since first recognized in late 2002.

.
Get Our Free Newsletters Via Email
  



  • Red Cross Calls For Disaster Cash Boost
  • Red Cross Calls For Stronger Alliances To Fight Disasters
  • NIST Test Fans The Flames For High-Rise Fire Safety
  • UN Official Laments Darfur Aid

  • Prominent Researchers Advocate Creation Of National Climate Service
  • Lessons Learnt From Drought Deaths 40,000 Years Ago
  • 'Divided' Countries Could Leave Climate Deal In 'Tatters'
  • Seven-Year Stabilization Of Methane May Slow Global Warming

  • 'Enact Space Law To Govern Use Of Remote Sensing Data'
  • European Space Agency And Google Earth Showcase Our Planet
  • GeoEye-1 Will Use SGI Technology To Process Image Data
  • SciSys Wins Software Role For CryoSat-2 Mission

  • Scientists Solve Mystery of How Largest Cellular Motor Protein Powers Movement
  • China Moves Ahead With Project To Rival Three Gorges In Size
  • Complex Order Parameter In Ruthenate Superconductors Confirmed
  • Putting Plant Life In The Energy Pipeline

  • Flu Vaccines Plentiful Amid Low Demand
  • Setting The Stage To Find Drugs Against SARS
  • Pattern Of Human Ebola Outbreaks Linked To Wildlife And Climate
  • UGA Researchers Use Laser, Nanotechnology To Rapidly Detect Viruses

  • Night Of The Living Enzyme
  • Fragmentation Rapidly Erodes Amazonian Biodiversity
  • Could Global Warming Be Crushing Blow To Crocodiles
  • Ethiopia's Famed Black-Maned Lions Being Stuffed For Lack Of Cash

  • Chinese Pollution A Rising Health Threat
  • UN Seeks Help To Clean Up Deadly Ivorian Toxic Waste Dumps
  • Man Jailed In China For Dumping Chemical Waste
  • Police Fire Teargas To Break Toxic Waste Demo

  • First Map Of Structural Variation In The Human Genome Under Construction
  • Genetic Variation Shows We're More Different Than We Thought
  • Neanderthal Genome Sequencing Yields Surprising Results
  • Dad Inspired 'Jurassic Park,' Son Inspires 'Jurassic Poop'

  • The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2006 - SpaceDaily.AFP and UPI Wire Stories are copyright Agence France-Presse and United Press International. ESA PortalReports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additionalcopyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by SpaceDaily on any Web page published or hosted by SpaceDaily. Privacy Statement