Pandemic may have pushed flu vaccinations in US to new record level

The COVID-19 vaccine may still be slowly rolling out, but the influenza vaccine has been and still is available — and many more Americans have reported getting it or planning to get it during this flu season, exceeding past numbers and catapulting the nation to a new milestone threshold.

It's always a good idea to get the flu vaccine, but this past flu season has had one special, critical reason: the pandemic. Getting the flu vaccine helps reduce the odds that you'll end up with the flu, which would be a bad thing to contract during a pandemic involving another, different, respiratory virus.

That may be the reason that a record number of Americans have received or said they plan to get the flu vaccine this season. That's according to a nationally-representative survey of more than 1,000 adults in the US, according to the University of Georgia, which published the research.

During the 2019 – 2020 flu season, only around 48-percent of adults in the US received the flu vaccine. In comparison, this new survey — when extrapolated to represent the nation — found that more than 43-percent of adults have already received the vaccine, with another 13.5-percent 'definitely' planning to get it and another 9.3-percent saying they will probably get one.

Assuming the figures prove accurate and that those who said they 'definitely' will get vaccinated end up following through, that means more than half of US adults will have been vaccinated against the flu, pushing the rates past 'an important threshold,' according to study lead professor Glen Nowak. Ultimately, the survey indicates that the 2020 – 2021 flu season may end up setting a new record in the US for the number of vaccinations administered.