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Michigan health officials are pushing for people to get vaccinated against influenza after failing to meet their public health goal last flu season.
The state set a goal of 4 million people vaccinated against the flu last season. However, only 3 million people received the vaccination, according to Beena Nagappala, MD, MPH, President, Michigan Academy of Family Physicians and medical director of community health at Ascension Southeast Michigan.
“So one of the biggest threats right now that we have to health and to public health right now is misinformation around health-related issues. and this is one reason that we have seen vaccination rates drop,” Nirali Bora, MD, MPH, Medical Director, Kent County Health Department, said Monday during a virtual roundtable discussion.
During the last flu season, 31 million people got sick from the flu and 21,000 people died from a flu-related illness or complications, Bora said.
Of that, 176 related deaths were reported in children, the third largest number of deaths in children reported since the epidemic began in the 2004-2005 flu season, according to Bora.
“The flu vaccine can prevent flu, it can also make symptoms less severe, it can reduce time missed from work and school, and reduce flu-related hospitalizations and death,” Bora said.
It takes about two weeks after the vaccination for antibodies to develop in the body, according to Bora.