Not enough New Yorkers have been getting flu vaccine, according to a report released Wednesdayby the city’s health department report.
New York City fell short of national vaccination targets across all age groups for the 2012-2013 season, including the particularly vulnerable groups of children and the elderly, the report said. Pregnant women and people with chronic health conditions are also at increased risk, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The report said only 65% of New York City children aged 6 to 59 months received a flu shot in the 2012-13 flu season, an increase from 59% in the 2011-12 influenza season, but well below the national goal of 80%.
"The best way to prevent influenza is to get vaccinated," Health Commissioner Dr. Thomas Farley said in a statement. "If you think it is too late, think again."
Combined with pneumonia, the flu is the third-leading cause of death in New York City, killing up to 3,000 people each year. The CDC recommends vaccination for everyone aged six months and older.
To find the nearest vaccine center, New Yorkers can text "flu" to 877877, a health department line set up for this year’s flu season.