-- Robert Preidt
THURSDAY, Oct. 7 (HealthDay News) -- Despite the H1N1 swine flu
outbreak, children's seasonal flu vaccination rates last fall and
winter weren't much higher than in the previous year, U.S.
researchers have found.
The findings were released in this week's issue of
Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report published by the U.S.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The CDC investigators analyzed data from eight Immunization
Information System Sentinel Site Project locations and found that
seasonal flu vaccination coverage during the 2009-2010 flu season
was 26.3 percent for children aged 6 months to 18 years, a 5.5
percent increase from 2008-2009 (20.8 percent).
Increases in coverage with more than one seasonal flu vaccine
dose varied according to age group: 55.2 percent to 55.7 percent
among children 6 months to 23 months old; 33 percent to 38.4
percent among children 2 to 4 years old; 19 percent to 27.1 percent
among children 5 to 12 years old; and 10.9 percent to 15.3 percent
among teens aged 13 to 18.
Full coverage with seasonal flu vaccine remained low in the
2009-2010 season: 34.7 percent of children 6 to 23 months old; 31
percent of children 2 to 4 years old; 23.8 percent of children 5 to
12 years old; and 15.3 percent of teens aged 13 to 18.
The researchers suggested a number of ways to improve seasonal
vaccination coverage, including: vaccinating later in the season
(January through March); reminder/recall notifications; parental
education; and school-located vaccination programs.
A second study in the
MMWR found that the United States had low levels of flu
activity during the summer of 2010, while typical flu activity
occurred in the southern hemisphere. Most of the flu viruses
analyzed recently match the viruses included in this year's flu
Manufacturers predict a plentiful vaccine supply for the
upcoming flu season.
The Nemours Foundation has more about
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