ATLANTA, Dec. 7 (UPI) -- Getting a flu shot is important for everyone, but it is very important for those with asthma because the flu can make asthma symptoms worse, U.S. officials say.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report said during the 2010-11 flu season, 50 percent of individuals with asthma received the flu shot, up from 36 percent during the 2005-06 flu season.
Despite this improvement, coverage rates are still well below the Healthy People 2020 targets for flu vaccination coverage of 80 percent for children age 6 months-17 years and 90 percent for adults with asthma, the report said.
Influenza can make asthma symptoms worse, trigger asthma attacks, and lead to pneumonia or other complications that result in hospitalization and even death, the report said.
"These findings highlight the need to educate healthcare providers and persons with asthma about the importance of annual influenza vaccination," the CDC said in the report.