Rate Of Flu Vaccination Among Adults Lagging Behind Children

BOSTON (CBS) —- More children than ever are being vaccinated for the flu but adults have a way to go.

That’s according to new statistics released by the Center For Disease Control.

Dr. Paul Biddinger, Medical Director for Emergency Preparedness at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston says there is no excuse.

Related: New Choices For Seasonal Flu Vaccines

If it’s needles that keep you away from getting vaccinated, there is a solution this year.

“The needles are 90-percent smaller than before,” Biddinger said.

Nasal spray vaccinations are also available.

“We know for sure that the flu virus changes every year so it’s almost impossible to predict the timing and severity of the flu season,” he told WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Diane Stern.

Last season, the city declared a public health emergency after 700 diagnoses and four deaths in early January.

“Last year started with an especially early season with a large number of severe cases presenting together over a short time, but every year we see many patients in our emergency department who struggle to fight off influenza. Don’t wait until you hear about an outbreak in your area. Get vaccinated now to protect yourself, those around you, and your community,” Biddinger said.

Biddinger blames the lower adult vaccination rate, in part of a perception that getting the shot will give you the flu.

“People don’t understand that the flu is a much more severe illness than the common cold,” he said.

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