Monday, September 19, 2011

Giving flu shots to tots cuts ER visits by a third

link to original article

updated 9/19/2011 3:02:59 PM ET

Recommending that all U.S. preschoolers get a flu shot cut visits to the emergency department for flu-like illness by more than a third, U.S. and Canadian researchers said on Monday in a study that showed the direct impact of vaccination policy changes on flu transmission.


For the study, the researchers compared data on 114,657 emergency department visits for flu-like illness at Children's Hospital Boston and Montreal Children's Hospital from 2000 to 2009, the period just prior to the H1N1 flu pandemic.
They found emergency department visits for flu-like symptoms fell by 34 percent at Children's Hospital Boston compared with Montreal Children's after the 2006 U.S. policy change.

Older children also benefited, with rates of flu-like illness dropping between 11 and 18 percent in Boston compared with Montreal.

The team said vaccinating preschoolers may have cut the spread of the virus to their older siblings, or the change could have motivated families to vaccinate older children as well.


Some 115 U.S. children and teens died from flu last year, and many of those deaths occurred among healthy children who had not gotten a flu shot, U.S. health officials last week.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention now recommends that everyone older than six months of age get a flu shot.


No comments:

Post a Comment