CDC urges adults to get the flu shot amid declining vaccination rates

Health officials are urging Americans not to delay getting their flu shot after vaccination rates fell by 1.5 percentage points from 2014 to 2015. In a media briefing Thursday morning, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) director Dr. Tom Frieden stressed that not getting vaccinated can be deadly.

“Getting a flu vaccine is important for all of us, for our own protection and for the protection of those around us who may be more vulnerable to flu, such as young children, people with certain chronic health conditions and the elderly,” Frieden said during the press conference, which was held with the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases (NFID).

The CDC recommends everyone 6 months and older get the flu shot. Each year, 50 to 100 children die from the flu.

While 79 percent of health care personnel were vaccinated against the flu last year— a 1.7 percentage point increase from 2014— fewer adults overall got the flu shot in 2015 than in 2014. In 2015, 45.6 percent of adults got vaccinated, a 1.5 percentage point decrease from the previous year. Older people ages 50 to 64 saw the biggest drop in flu shot rates: a 3.3 percentage point decrease to 63.4 percent in 2015, according to the NFID.