One-third of Americans have received flu vaccine

Approximately one in three of all Americans has been vaccinated for the flu this season, close to last year’s rate at this time, despite fewer flu-related headlines than there were during last year’s swine flu epidemic.

“We find that very encouraging,” Dr. Anne Schuchat, of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta said, according to The Associated Press.

Health officials are urging everyone over the age of six months to get vaccinated with a nasal spray or flu shot for the first time. Last year, the fears of swine flu brought the vaccination for the ordinary flu up to a record of 40 percent. Two shots were needed last year. This year, the H1N1 flu vaccine has been included in the regular shot.

Flu typically peaks between January and March, though last year it was widespread at this time. Flu activity has been relatively low, except in the Southeast, especially Georgia, the AP reports.

“Don’t be fooled by the past few months," Schuchat said, according to the AP. "Flu is coming."

In 2009, approximately 12,000 people were killed by swine flu and many children and young adults were hit hard. In preparation for this year, 160 million doses of flu vaccine were distributed.

Two-thirds of those receiving vaccination got the shot at a doctor’s office, clinic or hospital, the AP reports, while the rest got it at a store or work. Those 65 and older had the highest vaccination rate, according to a CDC survey.