What about the fact that flu season is not anywhere near over yet? It seems to me that as more people become infected and more people die, this could turn out to have much higher numbers than seasonal flu related deaths in the past several years.
Is anyone taking that into account? I know that around here, so many people have the flu right now. I watch for influenza every year due to my son's health issues, and I've never seen so many people infected with the flu at once.
The thing that was striking to me, was that while the amount of flu circulating early in the year was much, much higher than was typical for Aug/Sept, death rates due to flu/pneumonia were, for most of Aug & Sept, still fairly normal. I'll see if I can find the old weekly updates from CDC, that's where I read that....
All I could find was the posts where I copied/pasted from CDC's site. They update the site weekly, and while the graphs from past weeks are there, I couldn't find the summaries.
But from my links below, both weeks said that hospitalizations were higher than normal for this time of year, but within the typical range of seasonal hospitalization rates, and both said that flu/pneumonia deaths were within range for this time of year, which is significant given that flu is usually barely around in Aug/Sept.
So I think one of the decisions that CDC should actually be focusing on, to help people decide whether they want to be vaccinated, is that there's a lot higher likelihood of people getting the flu this year than most, and therefore, does an individual want to be vaccinated this year? But that's putting aside regions that have already had weeks of high flu activity, because combined with vaccine availability, a lot of people may already have had the flu by the time a vaccine is available to them. Some of the southern states seem to be either plateauing or dropping in influenza infections.