Why CDC Estimates the Burden of Flu Averted by Vaccination

For the past several years, CDC has used a model to estimate the numbers of influenza illnesses, medical visits, hospitalizations, and the impact of influenza vaccination on these numbers in the United States. CDC uses the estimates of the burden of influenza in the population and the impact of influenza vaccination to inform policy and communications related to influenza.

By looking at the number of flu illnesses, flu hospitalizations, and flu deaths averted by influenza vaccination each season, CDC can better understand and communicate the benefits of influenza vaccination. Estimates of the burden of flu averted due to vaccination provide clear evidence on the public health impact that vaccination can make in reducing illness from flu each season.

These estimates underscore the important benefits provided by influenza vaccination, which has been recommended annually in the United States for all persons 6 months and older since 2010. In addition to quantifying the benefits of influenza vaccination each season, these estimates also highlight areas where improvements in vaccine uptake and vaccine effectiveness could deliver even greater benefits to the public’s health.