100 years ago, an influenza pandemic took nearly 700,000 American lives. Today, that number is dramatically lower. But we still lose nearly 50,000 people – many of them children – to flu each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Over the last century, we’ve learned so much about preventing and controlling the spread of flu. But a public health challenge remains: the viruses that cause flu change each season, and scientists must work quickly to develop vaccines to combat the strains that might be most common.
That’s why the CDC recommends getting a flu shot every year. And it’s why Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies are finding new ways to expand access to flu shots in communities across the country.
It’s also why these companies continue to highlight the vaccine’s proven safety in order to drive home the importance of getting that annual flu shot.
Florida Blue is getting the word out to combat myths about the flu vaccine, an important message for a state where flu vaccination coverage rates for children are less than half the recommended national rate of 70 percent.
BlueCross BlueShield of Western New York published this audio interview with the company’s chief medical officer and pediatrician, Dr. Thomas Schenk, who breaks down the facts and fictions surrounding flu vaccines.
Florida Blue, and BlueCross BlueShield of Western New York are independent licensees of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association, an association of independent, locally operated Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies.