Flu vaccine numbers up in children

Dec 13, 2011, 11:54 by R.E. Christian

Flu immunization rates in children are up this year compared with last but have remained the same in adults, government officials reported.

Once recommended only for the elderly and chronically ill, the flu vaccine is now recommended for everyone older than 6 months of age, although vaccine manufacturers say they expect to make no more than 173 million doses this season because many people in the target population of 305 million decide against getting the shot, The Washington Post reported Monday.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports about 129 million doses of vaccine had been delivered to clinics, doctors' offices, pharmacies, hospitals and workplaces so far his season and 111 million people have been immunized.

More Hispanic children, 43 percent, have been vaccinated this year than black children at 36 percent or white children at 34 percent, the CDC said.

Among adults, vaccination use through mid-November was higher in whites at 40 percent than blacks at 28 percent or Hispanics at 26 percent, largely unchanged from last year, the center said.

Source: UPI