January 21, 2018
Flu: Building Community Immunity
Wellness Tip

Flu: Building Community Immunity

by Berkeley Wellness  

When people under 65 get the flu vac­cine, it helps protect older people in their community from the flu and its complica­tions, according to a study in Clinical Infectious Diseases.

Using eight years of data from a national sample of more than 3 million Americans, researchers estimated that in coun­ties where more than one-quarter of adults ages 18 to 64 were vaccinated, older adults had a 20 percent lower chance of developing the flu than in counties with the lowest under-65 vaccination rates.

Older people who were vaccinated against the flu themselves benefited most when people under 65 were vaccinated, “suggesting that community-wide immunity may amplify the benefits of individual vaccina­tion,” the paper concluded. The CDC recom­mends that everyone over six months of age get the flu vaccine, unless it is contraindicated.

See also: Vaccine Update: Flu and Pneumonia.