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Flu Vaccination Trends

Influenza (also known as the flu) is a serious disease that causes between 140,000 – 710,000 hospitalizations, 12,000 – 56,000 deaths, and costs billions of dollars to the economy each year. It is especially dangerous for adults aged 65 and older who are more likely to get the flu and suffer from serious flu-related complications. It’s estimated that 71 – 85 percent of seasonal-flu related deaths and 54 – 70 percent of seasonal flu-related hospitalizations occur among people in this age group. Flu vaccination is the best way to protect individuals and communities against the flu.

To help communities and public health officials address the burden of flu among adults aged 65 and older, the National Vaccine Program Office collaborates with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to provide tools that track weekly flu vaccination trends claims among Medicare beneficiaries.

Why Track Flu Vaccination Trends in Your Community?

Using these tools, you can explore current flu vaccination rates among Medicare beneficiaries in your community to:

  • Compare local and national flu vaccination rates
  • Detect targeted geographic areas with low vaccination rates
  • Identify disparities in vaccination rates
  • Track the impact of flu vaccination programs and campaigns and pilot strategies to increase vaccination rates

About the Data

Data are updated weekly during flu season, which usually begins in September. These tools show claims data only for Medicare Fee-for-Service (FFS) beneficiaries, which includes two-thirds of Americans aged 65 and older as well as disabled Americans under age 65. These tools should be used to compare relative vaccination claims rates between different locations and populations across weeks, months, and years. Some flu vaccines given may not be recorded in the claims database due to administration at alternate sites or lags in claims submissions. Locations with fewer than 25 claims submitted will not display data. As a result, the vaccination claims rates shown here may be an underrepresentation of actual coverage rates.

How to Track Flu Vaccination Trends in Your Community

Flu vaccination data for Medicare beneficiaries are available to view as weekly trends or by geographic area. Each tool includes a step-by-step guide to help you explore trends in your community. And, data for each tool can be sorted by state, county, zip code, race, or age group.

Related Resources

Content created by National Vaccine Program Office
Content last reviewed on November 8, 2017