2009/2010 Flu Vaccination Rates Up Sharply for Children

Rates also increase moderately among younger adults without high-risk conditions
By Jeff Muise
HealthDay Reporter

FRIDAY, April 30 (HealthDay News) -- National influenza vaccination coverage for the 2009/2010 flu season increased substantially for children, and moderately for younger adults without high-risk conditions, according to a report in the April 30 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

H. Ding, M.D., of the CDC in Atlanta, and colleagues analyzed data for October 2009 to February 2010 collected through the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System and National 2009 H1N1 Flu Survey. The researchers report that national seasonal flu vaccination coverage for children (6 months to 17 years) was 40 percent, compared to 24 percent for the prior flu season. For younger adults (18 to 49), national coverage was 36.2 percent for those with high-risk conditions (similar to the prior year) and 27.6 percent for those without high-risk conditions (up from 20.8 percent). National coverage was 45 percent for adults 50 to 64 years and 68 percent for those over 64, coverage similar to prior seasons.

Another article in the same issue of the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report details a new influenza vaccine, FluZone High-Dose, that has been licensed for individuals aged 65 and older. The CDC is awaiting data on its effectiveness.

"Even with increased demand for vaccination this season, influenza vaccination levels were well below Healthy People 2010 targets of 60 percent for non-institutionalized adults aged 18 to 64 years with high-risk conditions and 90 percent for adults aged ≥65 years," Ding and colleagues write.

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