Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Annual Flu Shot Cuts Need For Doctors' Visits, Hospitalization Among Children

Date:
September 4, 2007
Source:
Massachusetts General Hospital
Summary:
Children under the age of 5 who receive an annual flu shot have a greatly reduced risk of needing to see their doctor or be admitted to the hospital because of flu-related illness. Vaccinating only half US children against influenza could eliminate as many as 650,000 doctor's office visits and 2,250 hospitalizations in a year, according to the study.

Children under the age of 5 who receive an annual flu shot have a greatly reduced risk of needing to see their doctor or be admitted to the hospital because of flu-related illness.

A new study in the September issue of Pediatrics that analyzes how many outpatient visits or hospitalizations might be prevented by childhood influenza immunization finds that vaccinating only half U.S. children could eliminate as many as 650,000 doctor's office visits and 2,250 hospitalizations in a year.

"We found that only 12 to 42 children need to be vaccinated to directly prevent one outpatient visit for the flu," says Elizabeth Lewis, MD, the study's first author. "And since the vaccination of some children in a preschool or daycare setting also reduces the chance that unvaccinated children would be exposed to the flu virus, the effects of vaccination are probably even greater than we found." Lewis, now with MassGeneral Hospital for Children, worked on the study while at Vanderbilt University Medical School.

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that all children between the ages of 6 months and 5 years receive an annual flu shot. Since the specific virus responsible for the flu varies from year to year, determining the preventive impact of influenza vaccination of children has been challenging. For the current study, the authors analyzed existing data from several sources reporting on flu-related outpatient visits or hospitalizations covering several flu seasons. These included years in which the flu season was relatively mild and well as those in which flu was widespread and caused more serious illness.

Each year's flu vaccine needs to be designed in advance, based on which strains of virus are anticipated to be prevalent in the coming year. Because the accuracy of that prediction varies, the effectiveness of the flu vaccine also varies from year to year. To account for that variation, the research team calculated results based on several potential rates of vaccine efficacy.

"Even in years when only half the immunized children are well protected against flu, vaccination can make a real difference," Lewis says. "I'd advise parents to have their children vaccinated to protect their own health, the health of grandparents and other family members, and the health of other children they are around."

The co-authors of the Pediatrics report are principal investigator Katherine Poehling, MD, MPH, now at Wake Forest University School of Medicine; Marie R. Griffin, MD, MPH, Kathryn M. Edwards, MD, Yuwei Zhu, MD, MS, of Vanderbilt University Medical Center; and Peter G. Szilagyi, MD, MPH, University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry. The study was funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the National Institutes of Health.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Massachusetts General Hospital. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Massachusetts General Hospital. "Annual Flu Shot Cuts Need For Doctors' Visits, Hospitalization Among Children." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 4 September 2007. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/09/070904072851.htm>.
Massachusetts General Hospital. (2007, September 4). Annual Flu Shot Cuts Need For Doctors' Visits, Hospitalization Among Children. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 31, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/09/070904072851.htm
Massachusetts General Hospital. "Annual Flu Shot Cuts Need For Doctors' Visits, Hospitalization Among Children." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/09/070904072851.htm (accessed July 31, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Health Insurers' Profits Slide

Health Insurers' Profits Slide

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 30, 2014) Obamacare-related costs were said to be behind the profit plunge at Wellpoint and Humana, but Wellpoint sees the new exchanges boosting its earnings for the full year. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Peace Corps Pulls Workers From W. Africa Over Ebola Fears

Peace Corps Pulls Workers From W. Africa Over Ebola Fears

Newsy (July 30, 2014) The Peace Corps is one of several U.S.-based organizations to pull workers out of West Africa because of the Ebola outbreak. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Weather Kills 2K A Year, But Storms Aren't The Main Offender

Weather Kills 2K A Year, But Storms Aren't The Main Offender

Newsy (July 30, 2014) Health officials say 2,000 deaths occur each year in the U.S. due to weather, but it's excessive heat and cold that claim the most lives. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Concern Grows Over Worsening Ebola Crisis

Concern Grows Over Worsening Ebola Crisis

AFP (July 30, 2014) Pan-African airline ASKY has suspended all flights to and from the capitals of Liberia and Sierra Leone amid the worsening Ebola health crisis, which has so far caused 672 deaths in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. Duration: 00:43 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

    Environment News

    Technology News



    Save/Print:
    Share:

    Free Subscriptions


    Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

    Get Social & Mobile


    Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

    Have Feedback?


    Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
    Mobile: iPhone Android Web
    Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
    Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
    Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins