Fewer than half of Americans received flu vaccine in the last two years

A new review of influenza vaccination trends and policies by the Trust for America's Health revealed that fewer than half of Americans six months of age and older were vaccinated against the flu during the last two flu seasons.

As a result of the historically low demand for flu vaccinations, the supply of vaccine manufactured each year has been limited, the Trust warned, according to

The Trust identified several actions that could be taken to fill gaps in flu preparedness and policy, including ensuring that all healthcare personnel receive the annual seasonal flu vaccine annually and educating the public, with a focus on at-risk groups, front-line workers and clinicians, about the seriousness of the flu.

The Trust also called for the continuation of investments into expanding domestic flu vaccine manufacturing capacity with government guarantees to industry to assure an adequate supply during bad flu seasons, reports.

Other measures identified by the trust include improving diagnostics to allow for accurate surveillance and proper treatment, expanding the use of nurse triage lines and other pre-hospital systems, covering flu vaccine under public and private insurance without cost-sharing, and investing in research for a universal flu vaccine, and allowing workers in businesses with 15 or more employees to earn up to seven job-protected paid sick days to recover from the flu.