Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Expanding flu vaccinations to older children reduces emergency visits for flu-like illnesses by 34 percent, study suggests

Date:
September 19, 2011
Source:
Canadian Medical Association Journal
Summary:
Vaccinating children aged two to four years against seasonal influenza resulted in a 34 percent decline in flu-like illnesses, a new study finds.

Vaccinating children aged two to four years against seasonal influenza resulted in a 34% decline in flu-like illnesses, found a study in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal). Preschool-aged children have influenza infection rates of 25%-43%, higher than other age groups. Vaccinating healthy children can help prevent spread of infection in the home and the community.

In 2006/2007, the US Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices expanded its recommendations to give the seasonal flu vaccine to children beyond the current target group of 6 months to 23 months of age. However, Canada's National Advisory Committee on Immunization did not, allowing a comparison of vaccination practices between the two countries.

Researchers from the Children's Hospital Boston and Harvard Medical School in Boston, Massachusetts, and McGill University and the Montreal Public Health Department in Montrιal, Quebec evaluated the impact of the expanded US policy on influenza-related visits to the emergency department at the Children's Hospital Boston compared with Montreal Children's Hospital. They looked at visits to the emergency department in 2000/2001 through 2008/2009 at the two hospitals.

Of the 1,043,989 visits to the emergency departments of both hospitals for all causes, 114 657 were because of influenza-like illnesses. The researchers analyzed the visits associated with flu-like illnesses and found that "both hospitals had strong seasonal fluctuations in visits related to influenza-like illness in younger age groups, with more subtle seasonal patterns in older pediatric age groups and similar seasonal epidemic increases, declines and peak timing of the epidemic curve," write Drs. John Brownstein and Anne Hoen, Children's Hospital Boston, with coauthors.

"Following the policy change in the United States, we observed a decline in the rate of emergency department visits for influenza-like illness at Children's Hospital Boston relative to the Montreal Children's Hospital in the target age group, children two to four years old," they state.

They also saw declines of 11%-18% in other nontarget age groups (ages 0-1 year, 2-4 years, 5-9 years and 10-18 years), which may be related to an overall reduction of influenza in transmission at home and in the community because of vaccination of two to four year olds.

"A number of factors influencing the observable trends in our data sets may be independent of the policy shift that was of interest for our study. Nonetheless, our findings provide evidence that, in our US study community (i.e., Boston), the recommendation of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices to routinely vaccinate preschool-aged children against seasonal influenza is improving pediatric influenza-related outcomes," conclude the authors. They suggest that adopting a similar policy in Canada would be effective at reducing influenza-related illness.

In a related commentary Dr. Ville Peltola and coauthors from Turku University Hospital, Turku, Finland, write: "Although children younger than two years, elderly adults, pregnant women and people with chronic illnesses are well-defined risk groups for severe influenza, children of other ages and healthy adults would also benefit from influenza vaccinations in the form of decreases in outpatient visits, antibiotic and antiviral consumption, absenteeism from school and jobs and, to a lesser degree, hospital admissions and deaths. Expansion of vaccinations should also have beneficial effects at the population level, because vaccinated people do not transmit influenza viruses further."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Canadian Medical Association Journal. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal References:

  1. Anne Gatewood Hoen et al. Effect of expanded US recommendations for seasonal influenza vaccination: comparison of two pediatric emergency departments in the United States and Canada. Canadian Medical Association Journal, September 20, 2011 DOI: 10.1503/cmaj.110241
  2. V. Peltola, O. Ruuskanen, T. Heikkinen. Targeting influenza vaccinations of children. Canadian Medical Association Journal, 2011; 183 (13): 1464 DOI: 10.1503/cmaj.111055

Cite This Page:

Canadian Medical Association Journal. "Expanding flu vaccinations to older children reduces emergency visits for flu-like illnesses by 34 percent, study suggests." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 19 September 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/09/110919121800.htm>.
Canadian Medical Association Journal. (2011, September 19). Expanding flu vaccinations to older children reduces emergency visits for flu-like illnesses by 34 percent, study suggests. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/09/110919121800.htm
Canadian Medical Association Journal. "Expanding flu vaccinations to older children reduces emergency visits for flu-like illnesses by 34 percent, study suggests." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/09/110919121800.htm (accessed October 21, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

How Nigeria Beat Its Ebola Outbreak

How Nigeria Beat Its Ebola Outbreak

Newsy (Oct. 20, 2014) — The World Health Organization has declared Nigeria free of Ebola. Health experts credit a bit of luck and the government's initial response. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Another Study Suggests Viagra Is Good For The Heart

Another Study Suggests Viagra Is Good For The Heart

Newsy (Oct. 20, 2014) — An ingredient in erectile-dysfunction medications such as Viagra could improve heart function. Perhaps not surprising, given Viagra's history. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Worries End for Dozens on U.S. Watch Lists

Ebola Worries End for Dozens on U.S. Watch Lists

Reuters - US Online Video (Oct. 20, 2014) — Forty-three people who had contact with Thomas Eric Duncan, the first person diagnosed with Ebola in the U.S., were cleared overnight of twice-daily monitoring after 21 days of showing no symptoms. Rough Cut (no reporter narration). Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
CDC Calls for New Ebola Safety Guidelines

CDC Calls for New Ebola Safety Guidelines

AP (Oct. 20, 2014) — Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Dr. Tom Frieden laid out new guidelines for health care workers when dealing with the deadly Ebola virus including new precautions when taking off personal protective equipment. (Oct. 20) 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.

Save/Print:
Share:  

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



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