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Starting Flu Vaccination in August Could Help Protect Nearly 11 Million More Children During Scheduled Doctors' Visits
Date:5/5/2008

tranasal) into the marketplace this year beginning in August."

Earlier Influenza Vaccination Could Reach Nearly 11 Million More Children in Provider Offices

To examine the potential impact of early influenza vaccination, MedImmune researchers analyzed the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey (MEPS), a federally funded survey of families, individuals, and medical providers that collects data on health services utilized by Americans. They compared the number of children who had at least one healthcare provider visit between October 1 and December 31 (the traditional influenza vaccination period) to the number of children who had at least one visit between August 1 and December 31. The analysis found that by extending the flu vaccination season into August, an additional 6.6 million children would have vaccination opportunity during a well visit and 10.7 million children would have an opportunity to get a flu vaccine during an already-existing provider visit (well or sick).

Flu Vaccination Rates in Pediatrician Offices Remain Low

Another study, presented by Praful U. Bhatt, M.D. of Lock Haven, PA, assessed influenza vaccination use in pediatricians' offices. Researchers selected a nationally representative sample of 44 pediatric practices in advance of the 2007-2008 influenza season. In these offices, the mean influenza vaccination rates were 37 percent in six to 23 month olds (1), 24 percent in 24 to 59 month olds, 19 percent in five to eight year olds, and 12 percent in nine to 17 year olds through February 29, 2008.

Additionally, the study looked at compliance with the recommendation that children younger than nine years of age who have not been previously vaccinated receive two doses of influenza vaccine at least four weeks apart. Compliance rates for receiving the second dose were 55 percent (six to 23 months) (1), 43 percent (24 to 59 months) and 25 percent (five to eight years of age).

The study also found that vaccination a
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SOURCE MedImmune
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