Navigation Links
Targeting children effective use of limited supplies of flu vaccine and could help control flu spread
Date:6/17/2009

Targeting children may be an effective use of limited supplies of flu vaccine, according to research at the University of Warwick funded by the Wellcome Trust and the EU. The study suggests that, used to support other control measures, this could help control the spread of pandemics such as the current swine flu.

As the World Health Organization declares a pandemic global H1N1 swine flu, countries are looking at measures to control the spread of the disease. These measures include the use of antiviral treatment, social distancing (for example, closing schools and stopping public transport) and quarantining infected individuals.

Pharmaceutical companies have also stepped up production of vaccines effective against this particular strain of the virus. However, if the spread of the disease increases significantly in the autumn, as some scientists predict, it is unlikely that supplies of the new vaccine will be sufficient to vaccinate entire populations.

In research published in the journal Epidemiology and Infection, Dr Thomas House and Professor Matt Keeling from the University of Warwick's Department of Biological Sciences have used computer modelling to predict the spread of pandemic influenza and to look at ways of controlling it effectively, particularly where supplies of vaccine are not sufficient for universal coverage.

The researchers showed that, as might be expected, the disease is likely to spread fastest in densely-populated conurbations, suggesting that these should be priority areas for tackling the spread. However, they showed that vaccinating entire households at random was an inefficient use of resources; instead, vaccinating key individuals offered sufficient protection to others in their household.

Although a simplification of the complex reality of pandemic flu transmission, the researchers believe their model provides a robust argument for vaccinating children.

"Our models suggest that the larger the household which in most cases means the more children living at home the more likely the infection is to spread," says Professor Keeling. "This doesn't mean that everyone in the household needs to be vaccinated, but suggests that vaccination programmes for children might help control a potential pandemic."

The researchers argue that targeting children for vaccination would not only help protect those at greatest risk of exposure to the virus, but would also offer protection to unvaccinated adults. This so-called "herd immunity" effect would mean that significantly less vaccine would be necessary to help control the spread of the virus than if it were offered to everyone.

"Given that children are generally at particular risk from the disease, we believe that vaccination programmes for the young can be justified," says Dr House. "Although not sufficient to prevent a pandemic in themselves, such steps may support other control measures such as social distancing, antiviral drugs or quarantine."

The current study focuses on household transmissions. In the event of a disease outbreak, other modes of transmission are also likely, such as at work or on public transport. However, data for these modes is harder to come by. Professor Keeling and Dr House, together with colleagues at the University of Liverpool, are currently running www.contactsurvey.org, a survey on contact patterns which they hope will help to quantify the relative importance of each context.

"We think it is unlikely that including these other contexts in our model will change the conclusion regarding vaccinating children," says Dr House. "In every city studied, households are seen to play a key role in the transmission of close-contact diseases like influenza."


'/>"/>

Contact: Kelly Parkes-Harrison
k.e.parkes@warwick.ac.uk
44-782-454-0863
University of Warwick
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Targeting nerve growth factor may cure liver cancer
2. Gene-targeting pioneer Mario Capecchi shares 2007 Nobel Prize in Medicine
3. Yale chemist receives NIH Young Investigator Award for antibody targeting
4. Titanium Group Announces Launch of New Identification Solution Targeting High Growth Retail Sector
5. Tumor-targeting viral therapy slows neuroblastoma, malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumors
6. AACR annual meeting showcases developments in understanding and targeting cancers
7. Motor nerve targeting to limb muscles is controlled by ephrin proteins
8. Twin nanoparticle shown effective at targeting, killing breast cancer cells
9. Peregrines PS-targeting antibodies highlighted in AACR Annual Meeting studies
10. Fat still on the childrens menu
11. Many parents at-risk for cancer disclose genetic test results to children
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:12/15/2016)... , Dec 15, 2016 ... Research and Markets has announced the ... their offering. The report forecasts the global military biometrics ... The report has been prepared based on an in-depth ... landscape and its growth prospects over the coming years. The report also ...
(Date:12/12/2016)... 12, 2016  Researchers at Trinity College, Dublin, ... by combining the material with Silly Putty. The mixture ... detector able to sense pulse, blood pressure, respiration, ... The research team,s findings were ... here:  http://science.sciencemag.org/content/354/6317/1257 ...
(Date:12/7/2016)... , December 7, 2016 BioCatch , the ... of its patent portfolio, which grew to over 40 granted and pending ... , , ... filed patent entitled " System, Device, and Method Estimating Force ... enables device makers to forego costly hardware components needed to estimate the ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:1/20/2017)... January 20, 2017 http://www.Financialbuzz.com ... one of leading causes of death worldwide. There were ... number of cancer related deaths increased gradually over time, ... incidence rate of various cancers continues to drive demand ... report by Global Market Insights, Inc. cancer biological therapy ...
(Date:1/19/2017)... HOUSTON , Jan. 19, 2017 ... formation of its Medical/Clinical Advisory Board.  This new ... who enhance the range and depth of expertise ... its novel prenatal diagnostic tests.  These experts are ... guidance for the company,s product development and commercialization ...
(Date:1/19/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... January 19, 2017 , ... ... of product vigilance software to leading biopharmaceutical and medical device manufacturers and regulators, ... a fully 21 CFR Part 11-compliant email client designed to provide product vigilance ...
(Date:1/19/2017)... , ... January 18, 2017 , ... ... Institutes of Health (NIH) to update its Data Sharing Policy. Specifically, the nation’s ... of grant applications subject to the existing policy. AMIA recommended that NIH earmark ...
Breaking Biology Technology: