Annual influenza epidemics generate a significant public health burden each year in the United States. Medical and public health professionals, government officials and agencies, and nongovernmental organizations have long called for increasing influenza vaccine usage in the United States and around the world. The reasons for doing so include reducing influenza-associated morbidity and mortality, reducing the economic burden of influenza, and fostering bioterrorism preparedness. Robert B. Belshe, MD, Pedro A. Piedra, MD, Michael A. Kaufman, MD, Allan Kogan, MD, MSS, ABFP, FAAFP, CPE, Alyce Kuhn, RN, RRT, MSHA, and Richard L. Collins, MD, examine the burden of annual influenza epidemics in the United States. Other areas discussed include prevention and management of influenza, access to care, and the idea of universal vaccination.
This supplement is based on an expert panel roundtable discussion held in Dallas on June 30, 2008.