October 12, 2011
1 min read

School-based seasonal flu vaccine program yielded higher coverage rates

Gargano LM. Pediatrics. 2011;doi:10.1542/peds.2011-0453.

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A school-based seasonal influenza vaccination intervention was associated with an increase of more than 10% in coverage rates from one influenza season to the next, according to study results.

The aim of the trial was to compare influenza vaccination coverage strategies among adolescents in rural Georgia. The researchers investigated school-based approaches and provider-based approaches.

There were three arms in the trial: a middle school- and high school-based influenza vaccination intervention in one county, a provider-based intervention in another county and a standard-of-care condition program in a third county.

Educational brochures, school presentations and community outreach programs were included in the interventions. The aim was to increase vaccine knowledge and awareness among students and their parents.

During the 2008 to 2009 season, 70 of 370 students (19%) were vaccinated in the first county, 110 of 736 (15%) were vaccinated in the second county and 71 of 889 (8%) were vaccinated in the third (RRschool= 2.4; 95% CI, 1.7-3.2; RRprovider=1.9; 95% CI, 1.4-2.5).

From 2009 to 2010, 114 of 375 students (30.4%) received seasonal influenza vaccination in the school-based intervention county vs. 122 of 663 students (16.9%) in the provider-based intervention county and 131 of 861 students (15.2%) in the standard-of-care county (RRschool=2.3; 95% CI, 1.9-2.9; RRprovider=1.2; 95% CI, 0.97-1.5).

“Special efforts to promote influenza vaccination among rural, predominantly black students were associated with increased vaccination coverage,” the researchers wrote. “The school-based influenza vaccination intervention was associated with the highest levels of vaccination coverage. This study revealed the efficacy of school-based influenza education to improve vaccination rates among adolescents.”

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