HCPLive Network

Less Than Half of Young Children Receive Recommended Flu Vaccination

 
THURSDAY, Jan. 17 (HealthDay News) -- Although the influenza vaccine is recommended for all children aged 6 months and older, less than 45 percent of young children are fully vaccinated and the health care burden of influenza is considerable, according to a study published online Jan. 6 in Pediatrics.

Katherine A. Poehling, M.D., M.P.H., from the Wake Forest School of Medicine in Winston-Salem, N.C., and colleagues analyzed the health care burden for influenza for a population of children younger than 5 years old. The children presented with fever and/or acute respiratory illness in inpatient and outpatient (emergency department or clinic) settings from 2004 to 2009, when influenza vaccination recommendations were expanded to all children 6 months of age and older. The population included 2,970 children from inpatient settings, 2,698 from emergency departments, and 2,920 from clinics.

The researchers found that the average annual hospitalization rates for influenza ranged from 0.4 to 1.0 per 1,000 children and were highest for infants younger than 6 months old. The annual percentage of children with influenza seen as outpatients ranged from 10 to 25 percent. Less than 45 percent of children 6 months and older were fully vaccinated against influenza. Among children hospitalized with influenza, 2 percent received antiviral drugs, while less than 1 percent of outpatient children with influenza received antiviral drugs.

"Despite expanded vaccination recommendations, many children are insufficiently vaccinated, and substantial influenza burden remains," Poehling and colleagues conclude.

Several authors disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry.
 

Abstract
Full Text


Copyright © 2013 HealthDay. All rights reserved.
 
 

Further Reading
Flu activity remains elevated, according to FluView, a weekly influenza surveillance report prepared by the Influenza Division of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; however, the annual flu vaccine is moderately effective at preventing the disease, according to a report published in the Jan. 11 early-release issue of CDC's Morbidity & Mortality Weekly Report.
Children younger than 5 years old have substantial rates of hospitalizations and outpatient visits for human metapneumovirus, according to a study published in the Feb. 14 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.
Flu season descended on the United States early and hard this winter, with significant increases in flu activity observed over the past month, according to an update issued Jan. 4 by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Children with a history of severe egg allergy, even anaphylaxis, can safely receive a single dose of trivalent seasonal influenza vaccine, according to a study published in the December issue of the Annals of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology.
The US Food and Drug Administration has approved the first adjuvanted vaccine for the prevention of H5N1 influenza in adults at greater-than-average risk of exposure, the FDA said.
The pneumococcal conjugate vaccine containing 10 serotype-specific polysaccharides conjugated to Haemophilus influenza protein D, tetanus toxoid, and diphtheria toxoid as the carrier proteins is effective against invasive pneumococcal disease, including in infants using a 2+1 schedule, according to a study published online Nov. 16 in The Lancet.
Data show that rhinovirus and human metapneumovirus are associated with higher pediatric hospitalization rates than influenza.
More Reading