Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Researcher Questions Federal Guidelines For Seasonal And Swine Flu Vaccines

August 24, 2009
Yale University
A researcher has developed a mathematical model that calls into question whether current federal guidelines on seasonal and swine flu vaccines are targeting the correct populations and preventing both the spread of and complications from the viruses.

With the seasonal flu season approaching and uncertainty over whether swine flu will become more severe, new research published by Yale School of Public Health has found that more people are likely to avoid illness if vaccines are given out first to those most likely to transmit viruses, rather than to those at highest risk for complications. This research differs from current vaccination recommendations of the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP).

Related Articles

The Yale study appears in the August 20 issue of the journal Science online at the Science Express website. It will be published in the print journal Science at a later date.

The ACIP currently recommends that groups at high risk for complications of swine flu (novel influenza A or H1N1) be given priority for vaccination. The CDC recommends the same for seasonal flu vaccination. High-risk groups include children younger than 5 years old, adults 65 years of age and older, pregnant women, and those suffering from pulmonary, cardiovascular and other disorders.

But the study by Alison P. Galvani, Ph.D., an associate professor in the division of Epidemiology of Microbial Diseases at Yale, suggests that vaccines targeted at groups more likely to transmit flu viruses, rather than those at highest risk of complications, would result in fewer infections and improved survival rates.

Galvani used mathematical models to measure outcomes based on deaths, years of life lost and economic costs. Strikingly, these models found that schoolchildren and their parents, generally in their 30s, are the best groups to vaccinate when even a modest amount of an effective vaccine is available, because schoolchildren are most responsible for transmission and their parents serve as bridges to the rest of the population. By targeting these two age groups, the study found, the remainder of the population is better protected.

"Our results illustrate the importance of considering transmission when allocating vaccines" said Galvani. The paper was co-authored by Jan Medlock of Clemson University.

The CDC expanded its seasonal flu vaccination recommendations in 2008 to include children up to 18 years old. Still, Galvani's study determined that previous, and new, guidelines for both swine and seasonal flu performed substantially worse than the optimal strategies that she and her group identified.

For example, using the ACIP's new vaccination policies for the swine flu, the study determined that ACIP recommendations would result in 1.3 million infections, 2,600 deaths, and $2.8 billion in economic impact. In contrast, Galvani's model resulted in 113,000 infections, 242 deaths, and $1.6 billion in cost.

Galvani said reducing CDC prioritization of children under age 5 and the elderly could significantly improve the CDC's recommendations.

"The optimal allocation of vaccines is paramount to minimizing mortality and morbidity in the population, particularly when there is a supply shortage," she said.

Story Source:

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

Journal Reference:

  1. Jan Medlock and Alison P. Galvani. Optimizing Influenza Vaccine Distribution. Science, 2009; DOI: 10.1126/science.1175570

Cite This Page:

Yale University. "Researcher Questions Federal Guidelines For Seasonal And Swine Flu Vaccines." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 24 August 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/08/090820161140.htm>.
Yale University. (2009, August 24). Researcher Questions Federal Guidelines For Seasonal And Swine Flu Vaccines. ScienceDaily. Retrieved March 30, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/08/090820161140.htm
Yale University. "Researcher Questions Federal Guidelines For Seasonal And Swine Flu Vaccines." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/08/090820161140.htm (accessed March 30, 2015).

Share This

More From ScienceDaily

More Health & Medicine News

Monday, March 30, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

S. Leone in New Anti-Ebola Lockdown

S. Leone in New Anti-Ebola Lockdown

AFP (Mar. 28, 2015) Sierra Leone imposed a three-day nationwide lockdown Friday for the second time in six months in a bid to prevent a resurgence of the deadly Ebola virus. Duration: 01:17 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
These Popular Antibiotics Can Cause Permanent Nerve Damage

These Popular Antibiotics Can Cause Permanent Nerve Damage

Newsy (Mar. 27, 2015) A popular class of antibiotic can leave patients in severe pain and even result in permanent nerve damage. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
WH Plan to Fight Antibiotic-Resistant Germs

WH Plan to Fight Antibiotic-Resistant Germs

AP (Mar. 27, 2015) The White House on Friday announced a five-year plan to fight the threat posed by antibiotic-resistant bacteria amid fears that once-treatable germs could become deadly. (March 27) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
House Ready to Pass Medicare Doc Bill

House Ready to Pass Medicare Doc Bill

AP (Mar. 26, 2015) In rare bipartisan harmony, congressional leaders pushed a $214 billion bill permanently blocking physician Medicare cuts toward House passage Thursday, moving lawmakers closer to resolving a problem that has plagued them for years. (March 26) Video provided by AP
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.


Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News


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