That’s likely why some folks might have been surprised when Dr. Bob Sears said that “half of the patients admitted to ICUs for severe or (eventually) fatal cases of influenza last year were vaccinated.”
He seemed to be citing a news report from the California Department of Public Health.
Were More Than Half of the Kids with Severe or Fatal Influenza in California Last Year Vaccinated?
So what did the report from CDPH actually say?
“Influenza vaccination information was available for 455 (47.8%) of the 952 adult cases reported with severe or fatal influenza; 211 (46.4%) received the 2017–2018 influenza vaccine. One hundred twenty (64.2%) of the 187 reported pediatric cases >6 months of age had influenza vaccination information available; 61 (50.8%) received the 2017–2018 influenza vaccine.”Influenza Surveillance Report 2017–2018 Season
When you do the math, you quickly see that only 61 of 187 kids, or 33% of the pediatric patients were known to be vaccinated.
The numbers are even lower for adults with severe or fatal flu – only 211 of 952 adults, or 22% were known to be vaccinated.
So the majority of kids and adults were either unvaccinated or their vaccination status was unknown. While an unknown vaccinated status doesn’t mean that they weren’t actually vaccinated, it certainly doesn’t mean that they were.
What about the idea that these vaccinated patients would “eventually” turn into fatal cases, as Dr. Bob posted?
Although there were 18 fatal pediatric flu cases in California during the 2017-18 flu season, and that is more than any of us want to see, it should be clear, with 194 non-fatal ICU cases, that most severe cases weren’t eventually fatal.
Hopefully it isn’t a newsflash to anyone that most kids who die with the flu aren’t vaccinated.
More on Flu Deaths in California
- VAXOPEDIA – I’m Not Anti-Vaccine, I Just Don’t Believe in Flu Shots
- VAXOPEDIA – Are Flu Deaths Exaggerated?
- VAXOPEDIA – Who Dies from the Flu?
- VAXOPEDIA – How Effective Is the Flu Vaccine?
- VAXOPEDIA – Why Do Some Folks Wear a Mask During Flu Season?
- VAXOPEDIA – I Refuse to Listen to Bad Advice About Flu Shots, and I Won’t Apologize for It
- VAXOPEDIA – Three Reasons to Skip a Flu Shot This Year
- Family Stories – Families Fighting Flu
- CDPH – Influenza (Flu) and Other Respiratory Diseases
- California Department of Public Health (CDPH) Influenza Surveillance Program
- Influenza Surveillance Report 2017–2018 Season
- Influenza Surveillance Report 2016–2017 Season
- Study – Influenza-Associated Pediatric Deaths in the United States, 2010–2016
- Study – Influenza-associated pediatric deaths in the United States, 2004-2012.
- Influenza Associated Pediatric Mortality
- Unvaccinated Children Accounted for Majority of Pediatric Flu Deaths from 2010-2014