Flu Vaccination Rises in Adults But Still Low in Children

Low influenza vaccination rates pose a public health concern for children
By Pat F. Bass, M.D.
HealthDay Reporter

MONDAY, Sept. 29 (HealthDay News) -- During the 2006-2007 flu season, influenza vaccination coverage increased among adults, but only one in five children aged 6 months to 23 months were fully vaccinated, according to two reports from researchers at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention published in the Sept. 26 issue of the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

P.J. Lu, Ph.D., of the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases at the CDC in Atlanta, and colleagues report results of the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System examining influenza vaccination coverage among adults for the 2006-2007 influenza season. Among adults aged 18 to 49 with and without high-risk conditions, influenza vaccination coverage was 35.1 percent and 23.4 percent, respectively. In the 50- to 64-year age group, 54.2 percent of respondents with high-risk conditions were vaccinated compared to 37.9 percent of respondents without high-risk conditions. Among respondents aged 65 or older, 72.1 percent received the influenza vaccination.

Tammy A. Santibanez, Ph.D., and colleagues at the CDC report results of the 2007 National Immunization Survey examining influenza vaccination among children aged 6 months to 23 months during September-December of the 2006-2007 influenza season. Overall, 31.8 and 21.3 percent of children were partially and fully vaccinated, respectively.

"The continuing low influenza vaccination coverage described in this report underscores the need to identify innovative strategies for increasing influenza vaccination coverage among young children," according to an editorial accompanying the report by Santibanez. "Prevention of influenza and its complications among infants and young children is a public health priority because they are at greater risk for influenza complications, compared with older children."

More Information - Lu
More Information - Santibanez

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