CDC: Not enough people getting immunized against the flu

WASHINGTON — The first flu cases of the season are showing up in the D.C. area, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says far too many of us just aren’t ready.

New numbers released by the CDC show immunization rates for the 2015-2016 season are very low. As of early November, only two in five Americans over the age of six had been immunized against the flu.

“It is very troubling,” said Pamela Prindle, Foxhall Internists‘ immunization clinic director.

The only bright side: Problems with last year’s vaccine didn’t drive the current immunization rates lower.

“It wasn’t that much different, but it was still low,” Prindle said.

Last year, the flu hit the D.C. region early. Now, the disease seems to be following a more normal pattern.

“We are starting to hear about one or two cases in the area, but that is not peak, so there is plenty of time,” Prindle said.

The current flu season seems to be building slowly, and is not likely to peak until February or even March, she said.

That means procrastinators shouldn’t wait too long to get immunized.

“It takes a couple of weeks to produce an antibody response,” Prindle said, “so the sooner, the better.”

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