Early-Season Update: 2018-2019 Influenza Activity and Vaccination Coverage

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) published an MMWR on early-season influenza activity in the United States from September 30- December 1, 2018. Influenza activity in the United States was low during October 2018, and, although it increased slowly during November, activity remained low across most of the country.

The timing of influenza activity often varies. CDC expects influenza activity to increase in the coming weeks. Flu seasons most commonly peak during December–February. CDC recommends all persons aged ≥6 months, who do not have contraindications and who have not been vaccinated yet this season, get a seasonal flu vaccine now.

The MMWR also included information on influenza vaccination coverage in specific populations. People with certain chronic conditions are at high risk of serious flu complications, which can result in hospitalization and sometimes even death. For example, more than 29 million Americans have diabetes. According to the MMWR QuickStats report, in 2017, influenza vaccination rates were higher among adults with diagnosed diabetes than those with no diagnosed diabetes.

This flu season, early reports indicate overall flu vaccination coverage is up as of mid-November 2018 over the same time last season. CDC estimates flu vaccination coverage among children aged 6 months–17 years was 45.6%, an increase of 6.8 percentage points compared with the same time during the 2017-18 flu season. Flu vaccination coverage among adults aged ≥18 years reached 44.9%, an increase of 6.4 percentage points compared to last season.

View more information on the 2018-2019 flu season,

About Kim Rodgers

Kim Rodgers serves as a Communications Specialist at NACCHO. Her work includes promoting local health departments' best practices, as well as partner tools and resources, in infectious disease and preparedness through NACCHO's communications channels, storytelling, and outreach to various audiences.

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