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Less Than Half of U.S. Infants Fully Vaccinated for Influenza

Increase in full vaccination coverage from 4.8 percent in 2002-2003 to 44.7 percent in 2011-2012

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 3, 2016 (HealthDay News) — Although full influenza vaccination coverage is increasing among children aged 6 to 23 months, less than half of children in the United States were fully vaccinated in the 2011 to 2012 influenza season, according to a study published online Feb. 2 in Pediatrics.

Tammy A. Santibanez, Ph.D., from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, and colleagues compared estimates of complete influenza vaccination coverage for children aged 6 to 23 months across 10 consecutive influenza seasons. Data from the National Immunization Survey were used to estimate vaccination status.

The researchers found that from the 2002-2003 to 2011-2012 influenza seasons, there was an increase in full influenza vaccination coverage among children aged 6 to 23 months, from 4.8 to 44.7 percent. Compared with non-Hispanic white children, non-Hispanic black and Hispanic children had lower full influenza vaccination coverage in all 10 influenza seasons studied. Full influenza coverage was higher among children requiring only one dose versus those requiring two doses for all 10 influenza seasons.

“Less than half of children 6 to 23 months in the United States, and an even a smaller percentage of Hispanic and non-Hispanic black children, are fully vaccinated against influenza,” the authors write. “More implementation of evidence-based strategies that increase the percentage of children who are fully vaccinated is needed.”

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