80,000 people died from the flu in the United States last winter

❝ An estimated 80,000 Americans died of flu and its complications last winter — the disease’s highest death toll in at least four decades

Flu experts knew it was a very bad season, but at least one found the size of the estimate surprising.

“That’s huge,” said Dr. William Schaffner, a Vanderbilt University vaccine expert. The tally was nearly twice as much as what health officials previously considered a bad year, he said…

❝ Last fall and winter, the U.S. went through one of the most severe flu seasons in recent memory. It was driven by a kind of flu that tends to put more people in the hospital and cause more deaths, particularly among young children and the elderly…

Making a bad year worse, the flu vaccine didn’t work very well. Experts nevertheless say vaccination is still worth it because it makes illnesses less severe and save lives.

❝ CDC officials called the 80,000 figure preliminary, and it may be slightly revised. But they said it is not expected to go down.

It eclipses the estimates for every flu season going back to the winter of 1976-1977…

There are no reasonable, educated, science or health-based excuses for NOT getting vaccinated. Allergic reactions? Yes. Anything else generally proves to be culturally spooky rationales.

I was a schoolboy when the first successful flu vaccines came along. Till then, we looked around among neighborhood friends and classmates after winter to see who had died. It was that stark.