In Oregon, fewer than 40% of children aged 2 years received an influenza
vaccination during the most recent influenza season.
Based on these figures, CDC officials are emphasizing the need for
health care provider-based and community-based strategies to increase influenza
vaccination coverage among this population.
“Strategies that target children with interruptions in health
insurance coverage, children without a pediatrician as a regular health care
provider, and children of mothers with concerns about vaccinations are needed
to increase influenza vaccination coverage in Oregon,” the researchers
wrote in a recent Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.
In the current study, CDC officials pooled data from the Oregon
Pregnancy Risk Assessment Monitoring Survey follow-back survey (Oregon PRAMS-2)
between 2006 and 2008 to investigate influenza vaccination status and
socio-demographic and health care correlates among children aged 2 years.
Results indicated that 37.7% of 1,489 mothers reported their children
received an influenza vaccination during the most
recent influenza season.
Based on a multivariable-adjusted analysis, factors positively
associated with children’s recent influenza vaccination included
vaccination in the previous year, receipt of all recommended immunizations,
uninterrupted health insurance coverage and mothers’ unmarried status. In
addition, the only factor negatively associated with vaccination was visiting a
family doctor, rather than a pediatrician, according to the study.
Timothy J. Cunningham, ScD, Lieutenant, US Public
Among children who had not received a
recent influenza vaccination, the most common concern
about vaccination expressed by mothers was that too many vaccines are given at
“Preschool children are very vulnerable to influenza and
vaccination is the best way to keep your child healthy, safe, and prevent
flu-related complications and hospitalizations,” Timothy J. Cunningham,
ScD, Lieutenant, US Public Health Service, told Infectious
CDC officials said these findings can be attributed toward local action
in Oregon. “In light of the estimated influenza vaccine coverage of 37.7%
in this study, the correlates of influenza vaccination identified, and the
concerns about influenza vaccination expressed by mothers, two types of
strategies are warranted to increase influenza vaccination coverage in this
population. First, health care provider-based strategies that assess and
increase maternal knowledge regarding vaccination should be considered. Second,
community-based strategies aimed at providing all children access to influenza
vaccine and all other ACIP-recommended immunizations should be examined,
including children eligible for free vaccinations through the Oregon Vaccines
for Children Program,” CDC officials wrote.
These data were specific to Oregon and may not be representative of
other populations, Cunningham said.
James H. Brien, DO
This large Oregon State Health Department survey sheds some additional
light on the dynamics of vaccine acceptance or rejection by parents answering
the questions. Most of the points made support what practitioners have known by
experience, and it's always good to see data to verify our opinions.
– James H. Brien, DO
Infectious Diseases News Editorial Board member
Disclosure: Dr. Brien reports no relevant financial