Why Is This Important?Influenza, or flu, is an acute viral infection involving the respiratory tract that can occur in epidemics or pandemics. Influenza can cause a person, especially older persons, to be more susceptible to bacterial pneumonia.
Influenza Vaccination in the Past 12 Months, Utah and U.S. Adults Aged 65+, 1995-2016
- Utah Data: Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, Office of Public Health Assessment, Utah Department of Health
- U.S. Data: Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS), Division of Behavioral Surveillance, CDC Office of Surveillance, Epidemiology, and Laboratory Services
Data NotesIn 2011, the BRFSS changed its methodology from a landline only sample and weighting based on post-stratification to a landline/cell phone sample and raking as the weighting methodology. The data for 2011 and later on this graph are based on the new methodology (landline/cell phone sample; raking).
Due to changes in both sampling and the question format, data for 2011 and later should be interpreted with caution compared to previous years.
U.S. data are the average for all states and the District of Columbia; they do not include the U.S. territories.
These rates are crude rates, not age-adjusted, given that the Healthy People 2020 Objective is based on crude rates.
Risk FactorsRisk factors for serious complications of influenza include:
* Older age (50+)
* Residence in a nursing home and other chronic care facility
* Chronic pulmonary or cardiovascular disorders, including asthma
* Lowered ability to fight infections because of a disease they are born with, infection with Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV), treatment with medications such as long-term steroids, and/or treatment for cancer with x-rays or medications
* Chronic illnesses (including diabetes mellitus), kidney diseases, and blood cell diseases such as sickle cell anemia
* Pregnancy in the second or third trimester during the flu season (December-March)
* Long-term aspirin therapy and therefore possibly at risk for developing Reye syndrome after influenza
* Very young age (6-23 months)
How Are We Doing?The percentage of Utahns aged 65+ who received a flu vaccine is measured by the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) survey, and was found to be 54.9% in 2016 as compared to 59.0% in 2015.
There was a decrease in coverage rates from 2007-2010 using the old BRFSS methodology and we saw a continuation of this decreased trend in 2011 and 2012 using the new methodology that was implemented in 2011. Using the new methodology, there was an increase in coverage rates from 2013-2015. However, in 2016 the coverage rate has started to decrease again. The data can fluctuate year to year, and it will be useful to look at the data in the future to see if this decreased trend continues.
What Is Being Done?The UDOH Immunization Program and Office of Epidemiology educate health care providers, clinic staff, and the public about prevention methods and support investigation of outbreaks.
====Who Should Get Influenza Vaccine?====
All people six months of age and older should receive influenza vaccine yearly in the fall or winter. Those that should strongly consider the vaccine are as follows:
* Children age 6 months to 4 years (59 months)
* People 50 years of age or older
* People with chronic pulmonary (including asthma), cardiovascular (except hypertension) renal, neurologic, hematologic, or metabolic disorders (including diabetes mellitus)
* People who are immunosuppressed (including immunosuppression caused by medications or by Human Immunodeficiency Virus)
* Women who are or will be pregnant during the influenza season and women up to two weeks after delivery.
*People who are aged 6 months through 18 years and receiving long-term aspirin therapy and who therefore might be at risk for experiencing Reye syndrome after influenza virus infection
* Residents of nursing homes and other chronic-care facilities
* American Indians/Alaskan Natives
* People with extreme obesity (body mass index [BMI] is 40 or greater)
* Health care personnel
* Household contacts and caregivers of children younger than 5 years and adults aged 50 years and older, with particular emphasis on vaccinating contacts of children aged younger than 6 months
* Household contacts and caregivers of people with medical conditions that put them at higher risk for sever complications from influenza.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). "Vaccination: Who Should Do It, Who Should Not and Who Should Take Precautions". Retrieved from: [https://www.cdc.gov/flu/protect/whoshouldvax.htm].
Healthy People Objective: Increase the percentage of adults aged 18 and older who are vaccinated annually against seasonal influenzaU.S. Target: 70.0 percent
Date Indicator Content Last Updated: 10/27/2017