Flu shots at school boost vaccination rates - WMBB News 13 - The Panhandle's News Leader

Flu shots at school boost vaccination rates

Updated:
© iStockphoto.com / Jaimie Duplass © iStockphoto.com / Jaimie Duplass
  • What's Going AroundMore>>

  • What's Going Around - April 16th

    What's Going Around - April 16th

    Wednesday, April 16 2014 11:16 AM EDT2014-04-16 15:16:33 GMT
    Sinus infections are going around this week. Nurse Practitioner Christy Johnson from Bay Medical-Sacred Heart Family Medicine says, "A sinus infection is inflammation or swelling of your sinuses. WhenMore >>
    A sinus infection can make a person feel miserable. More >>
  • What's Going Around - April 2nd

    What's Going Around - April 2nd

    Wednesday, April 2 2014 11:29 AM EDT2014-04-02 15:29:17 GMT
    It's allergy season, and a lot of patients are struggling right now. Dr. Brian Shaheen from Bay Medical-Sacred Heart Family Medicine says symptoms of allergies include: Congestion Clear nasal dischargeMore >>
    The first signs of pollen also signal the start of allergy season. More >>

MONDAY, June 10 (HealthDay News) -- Offering flu shots at elementary schools could reduce the number of flu cases and deaths among children, a new study suggests.

Vaccination is the most effective way to protect children aged 6 months and older against seasonal flu, but vaccination rates among American children are low. Only about 40 percent of children received a 2012-2013 flu vaccine, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

About 90 percent of children who died from flu during 2012-2013 were not vaccinated, the CDC noted.

The study, conducted in late 2009, included 32 elementary schools in the Rochester, N.Y., area. Two flu vaccination clinics were held four weeks apart at 21 of the schools, while no vaccination clinics were held at the 11 other schools.

The flu vaccination rate among students at the schools where vaccination clinics were held was 13 percent higher than among students at the schools that did not have vaccination clinics, the investigators reported in a recent issue of the journal Vaccine.

"The flu is a disease with high probability of reaching epidemic levels even though we have an effective vaccine. Our goal is to find ways to ensure that the best prevention is as accessible as possible," study author Byung-Kwang Yoo, an associate professor of public health sciences at the University of California, Davis, said in a university news release. Yoo was with the University of Rochester when the study was conducted.

Children's flu shots are typically given in primary care doctors' offices, but they "may not have the capacity to vaccinate all U.S. children against seasonal influenza," Yoo said. "If the CDC's recommendations were followed, primary-care offices would have to accommodate 42 million additional patient visits during the five-month window for each flu season."

That's why it's important to find ways to expand children's access to flu shots, he added.

More information

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has more about children, the flu and the flu vaccine.

Health News Copyright © 2013 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

*DISCLAIMER*: The information contained in or provided through this site section is intended for general consumer understanding and education only and is not intended to be and is not a substitute for professional advice. Use of this site section and any information contained on or provided through this site section is at your own risk and any information contained on or provided through this site section is provided on an "as is" basis without any representations or warranties.