The CDC reports that if 70% of Americans received the flu vaccine an additional 1.8 million cases of influenza could have been averted last season. The 70% threshold is the CDC’s national target for overall coverage.

The CDC recommends all Americans aged 6 months and older get vaccinated against influenza each season, but coverage rates consistently fall well below target levels and vaccine effectiveness is often between 40% to 60%.

In 2016-17 coverage was around 47%. A 5% to 10% increase in vaccination coverage could have prevented 483,000 to 960,000 more illnesses and 6,950 to 13,800 more hospitalizations.

If coverage reached the Healthy People 2020 target of 70% vaccine coverage, 1.88 million additional illnesses and 17,300 hospitalizations could have been averted.