The flu costs the US economy $10.4 billion

Personal Finance

Yet most people apparently don’t mind the risk. In the 2015-2016 flu season, just 43.3 percent of U.S. adults got the flu vaccine, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. For those under age 18, the rate was 59 percent. (Click on CDC chart below to enlarge.)

At the same time, an estimated 24.5 million were stricken with the flu, resulting in 11 million medical visits, 308,000 hospitalizations and 12,000 deaths.

The financial impact? An estimated annual $10.4 billion in direct costs for hospitalizations and outpatient visits for adults.

“Getting the flu shot should be a no-brainer,” said certified financial planner Chris Chen, wealth strategist with Insight Financial Strategists in Waltham, Massachusetts. “The low or free cost of the shot is one of the great deals of everyday living, given what it can cost if you get the flu.”

In the 2015-2016 flu season, the CDC estimates that the flu vaccine prevented about 5.1 illnesses, 2.5 million flu-induced medical visits and 71,000 hospitalizations. (Click on graphic to enlarge.)

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