OBJECTIVES--To assess the size of the elderly population for whom influenza vaccine is indicated and how many are vaccinated. DESIGN--Cohort questionnaire study. SETTING--Leicestershire general practices. SUBJECTS--800 elderly subjects selected a random from the Leicestershire family health services authority list who were not living in residential care, 565 of whom returned a questionnaire. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES--Patient profile, vaccine offers, vaccination status, and reasons for not accepting vaccine. RESULTS--170 of 334 (51%) people aged 65-74 years and 106 of 205 (52%) aged > or = 75 years had one or more medical indications for influenza vaccine. 195 people were offered vaccine, 49 of whom had no risk factor. 152 offers were made opportunistically during visits to the practice and only six were made in writing or by telephone. Overall 113 of 266 patients with known medical indications were immunised. Vaccine was accepted by 148 of 189 (78%) offered it, and, as judged by acceptance in sequential years, influenza vaccine was well tolerated. The main reasons for not being vaccinated were misconception about risk status and inadequate advice from doctors. CONCLUSIONS--The prevalence of medical indications for vaccine is not large enough to justify a policy of universal immunisation. Most patients offered vaccine accept it and tolerate it well. Improved targeting and education is needed to increase immunisation of people at risk.
BACKGROUND: The uptake of influenza vaccination among older people is suboptimal. Contact with a doctor or nurse is associated with older people deciding to accept influenza vaccination. AIM: To compare different forms of approach in improving uptake of influenza vaccination among patients aged 75 years and over in primary care. DESIGN OF STUDY: Randomised controlled trial. SETTING: One large rural general practice serving the town and surrounding area of Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire. METHOD: All 2,052 patients aged 75 years and over, registered with the practice and not living in nursing/residential homes or sheltered accommodation, were included in the study. One-third of patients were randomised to receive an offer of influenza vaccination as part of an over-75 health check administered by a practice nurse in the patient's home, and two-thirds of patients were randomised to receive a personal letter of invitation to attend an influenza vaccination clinic held at the surgery. The main outcome measure was uptake of influenza vaccination. RESULTS: Six hundred and eighty patients were randomised to the health check arm of the trial and 1,372 were randomised to receive a personal letter. Of those randomised to the health check arm, 468 received the health check from the nurse. Overall, the difference in influenza vaccination uptake was 6.4% (95% confidence interval [CI] = 2.2% to 10.4%) with 67.9% (n = 932) of those who were sent a personal letter actually receiving the vaccine, compared with 74.3% (n = 505) of those offered a combined health check and influenza vaccination (P = 0.003). CONCLUSION: Combining home-based over- 75 health checks with influenza vaccination can improve uptake among older patients. However this intervention is likely to be costly and its effect on influenza vaccination rates is modest. The difference in uptake is greater among those who do not routinely comeforwardfor vaccination and a more viable option may be to target these patients.
Despite known benefits of influenza vaccination and coverage by Medicare Part B, elderly minority patients are less likely to receive influenza vaccination than whites.
To test whether a nonphysician-initiated standardized offer of influenza vaccination to all elderly primary care patients would result in similar proportions of African-American and white patients accepting vaccine.
In 7 metropolitan Detroit primary care practices during the 2003 influenza vaccination season, medical assistants assessed influenza immunization status of all patients 65 years and older and collected limited demographic data. Eligible patients were offered vaccination.
Proportion of patients accepting influenza vaccination by race and predictors of vaccine acceptance.
Four hundred and fifty-four eligible patients with complete racial information were enrolled: 40% African American, 52% white, 8% other race/ethnicity. Similar proportions of African Americans and whites had already received the 2003 vaccine (11.6% and 11.0%, respectively) or stated vaccination as the reason for visit (23.8% and 30.5%, respectively). Among the remainder, there also were similar proportions who accepted vaccination: 68.9% white and 62.1% African-American patients. History of previous vaccination was the only statistically significant predictor of vaccine acceptance (odds ratio [OR] 8.64, 95% confidence interval [CI] 4.17, 17.91, P <.001). After adjusting for history of previous vaccination, age, gender, and education, the odds of vaccine acceptance were no different for whites and African Americans (OR 1.20, 95% CI 0.63, 2.29, P = .57).
Vaccination acceptance differed little between African-American and white elderly patients. Using nonphysician personnel to identify and offer influenza vaccine to eligible patients is easily accomplished in primary care offices and has the potential to eliminate racial disparities in influenza vaccination.
health care delivery; influenza; vaccination; race/ethnicity; underserved populations; disparities
Beginning with the 2004–05 influenza season, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) strengthened their existing encouragement that children aged 6–23 months receive influenza vaccination by creating a formal recommendation.
Well-functioning sentinel project immunization information systems (IIS) in Arizona (AIIS) and Michigan (MIIS) were used to calculate vaccination coverage among children aged 6–23 months during the 2004–05 influenza season. We calculated 2 measures of vaccination coverage: a) receipt of 1 or more doses of influenza vaccine September 2004-March 2005 and b) receipt of 2 or more doses (ie, fully vaccinated). We compared the dose administration distribution among children needing 1 and 2 doses and by provider type. Coverage by age and timeliness of vaccine doses entered into the IIS were also analyzed.
Influenza vaccination coverage levels among children were 30% and 27% in AIIS and MIIS, respectively, for receipt of 1 or more doses; 13% and 11% of children, respectively, were fully vaccinated. Peaks in dose administration among children needing 1 and 2 doses were similar. There were differences in vaccine administration between public and private providers. Coverage was higher among younger children and over 75% of all influenza vaccine doses were entered into the IIS within 30 days after receipt of vaccine.
Though almost 1/3 of children received 1 or more doses of vaccine in 2 IIS sentinel projects during the first season of the new recommendation, emphasis needs to be placed on increasing the proportion of children fully vaccinated. IIS data can be used for timely monitoring of vaccination coverage assessments.
Influenza vaccines are reviewed each year, and often changed, in an effort to maintain their effectiveness against drifted influenza viruses. There is however no regular review of influenza vaccine effectiveness during, or at the end of, Australian influenza seasons. It is possible to use a case control method to estimate vaccine effectiveness from surveillance data when all patients in a surveillance system are tested for influenza and their vaccination status is known.
Influenza-like illness (ILI) surveillance is conducted during the influenza season in sentinel general practices scattered throughout Victoria, Australia. Over five seasons 2003–7, data on age, sex and vaccination status were collected and nose and throat swabs were offered to patients presenting within three days of the onset of their symptoms. Swabs were tested using a reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) test. Those positive for influenza were sent to the World Health Organization (WHO) Collaborating Centre for Reference and Research on Influenza where influenza virus culture and strain identification was attempted. We used a retrospective case control design in five consecutive influenza seasons, and estimated influenza vaccine effectiveness (VE) for patients of all ages to be 53% (95% CI 38–64), but 41% (95% CI 19–57) adjusted for age group and year. The adjusted VE for all adults aged at least 20 years, the age groups for whom a benefit of vaccination could be shown, was 51% (95% CI 34–63). Comparison of VE estimates with vaccine and circulating strain matches across the years did not reveal any significant differences.
These estimates support other field studies of influenza vaccine effectiveness, given that theoretical considerations suggest that these values may underestimate true effectiveness, depending on test specificity and the ratio of the influenza ILI attack rate to the non-influenza ILI attack rate. Incomplete recording of vaccination status and under-representation of children in patients from whom a swab was collected limit the data. Improvements have been implemented for prospective studies.
BACKGROUND: Improvement in the delivery of influenza and pneumococcal vaccinations to high-risk groups is an important aspect of preventive care for primary healthcare teams. AIM: To investigate the effect of an educational outreach visit to primary healthcare teams on influenza and pneumococcal vaccination uptake in high-risk patients. DESIGN: Cluster randomised controlled trial. SETTING: Thirty general practices in the Trent region, UK. METHODS: Fifteen practices were randomised to intervention and 15 to the control group after stratifying for baseline vaccination rate. All intervention practices were offered and received an educational outreach visit to primary healthcare teams, in addition to audit and feedback directed at improving influenza and pneumococcal vaccination rates in high-risk groups. Control practices received audit and feedback alone. All practices measured influenza and pneumococcal vaccination rates in high-risk groups. Primary outcomes were improvements in vaccination rates in patients aged 65 years and over, and patients with coronary heart disease (CHD), diabetes and a history of splenectomy. RESULTS: Improvements in pneumococcal vaccination rates in the intervention practices were significantly greater compared with controls in patients with CHD, 14.8% versus 6.5% (odds ratio [OR] = 1.23, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.13 to 1.34) and diabetes, 15.5% versus 6.8% (OR = 1.18, 95% CI = 1.08 to 1.29) but not splenectomy, 6.5% versus 4.7% (OR = 0.96, 95% CI = 0.65 to 1.42). Improvements for influenza vaccination were also usually greater in intervention practices but did not reach statistical significance. The increases for influenza vaccination in intervention versus control practices were for CHD, 18.1% versus 13.1% (OR = 1.06, 95% CI = 0.99 to 1.12); diabetes, 15.5% versus 12.0% (OR = 1.07, 95% CI = 0.99 to 1.16), splenectomy 16.1% versus 2.9% (OR = 1.22, 95% CI = 0.78 to 1.93); and those over 65 years 20.7% versus 25.4% (OR = 0.99, 95% CI = 0.96 to 1.02). CONCLUSION: Practices where primary care teams received an educational outreach visit demonstrated a significantly greater improvement in uptake in high-risk groups for pneumococcal but not influenza vaccine.
In the 2008–2009 and 2009–2010 influenza seasons, 84 pediatric offices participating in a prospective observational study were surveyed about whether the office offered influenza vaccine to parents and guardians of pediatric patients. Each season, approximately half of all offices cited offering seasonal influenza vaccine to parents. In 2008–2009, reported barriers to parental vaccination included reimbursement, medicolegal concerns and logistics. In 2009–2010, 51% of offices (n = 43) administered one parental seasonal vaccination for every 29 pediatric seasonal vaccinations and one parental H1N1 vaccination for every 23 pediatric H1N1 vaccinations. Currently, the number of parental vaccinations per office is small but parental vaccination by pediatricians may increase in the future given the new recommendations that all adults 18 to 49 years of age should be vaccinated annually. Efforts should be taken to address barriers to parental vaccination so that pediatricians are better able to vaccinate parents/guardians of their patients against influenza.
influenza; vaccination; parents; live attenuated influenza vaccine; trivalent inactivated vaccine
Uptake rates of influenza vaccination in young at-risk groups in primary care (UK) are known to be poor.
To explore parental reasons for non-uptake of influenza vaccination in young at-risk groups. The study hypothesis was that exploration of parental reasons for non-uptake may reveal important barriers to an effective influenza vaccination programme.
Design and setting
Thematic analysis of a questionnaire survey with interview follow-up at a single general practice in Inverness, Scotland.
Parents of children identified as being in an at-risk group for influenza vaccination but who had not received vaccination were sent questionnaires and offered the opportunity to take part in a follow-up interview.
Several key themes emerged, including uncertainty about the indication for vaccination, issues of choice, challenges with access, lack of parental priority, and issues relating to health beliefs.
Any attempt to improve the vaccination rate needs to address the range of decision-making processes undertaken by parents and children. Better and more tailored information and educational delivery to parents, patients, and healthcare providers may lead to an increase in the rates of influenza vaccination uptake in at-risk children. Access is a barrier described by some parents.
children; influenza; population at risk; primary care; vaccination
Receipt of seasonal inactivated trivalent vaccine neither increased nor decreased the risk for pandemic influenza virus infection.
We conducted a population-based study in Manitoba, Canada, to investigate whether use of inactivated trivalent influenza vaccine (TIV) during the 2008–09 influenza season was associated with subsequent infection with influenza A(H1N1)pdm09 virus during the first wave of the 2009 pandemic. Data were obtained from a provincewide population-based immunization registry and laboratory-based influenza surveillance system. The test-negative case–control study included 831 case-patients with confirmed influenza A(H1N1)pdm09 virus infection and 2,479 controls, participants with test results negative for influenza A and B viruses. For the association of TIV receipt with influenza A(H1N1)pdm09 virus infection, the fully adjusted odds ratio was 1.0 (95% CI 0.7–1.4). Among case-patients, receipt of 2008–09 TIV was associated with a statistically nonsignificant 49% reduction in risk for hospitalization. In agreement with study findings outside Canada, our study in Manitoba indicates that the 2008–09 TIV neither increased nor decreased the risk for infection with influenza A(H1N1)pdm09 virus.
epidemiology; pandemic (H1N1) 2009; pandemic (H1N1) 2009 virus; pandemic A(H1N1)2009 virus; influenza A(H1N1)pdm09; trivalent influenza vaccine; 2008–09 inactivated trivalent influenza vaccine; TIV; case–control study; influenza; Canada; viruses
Background & Aims
Individuals at risk of (H1N1) influenza A infection are recommended to receive vaccination. Chronic hepatitis C (CHC) patients receiving treatment might be at a higher risk of respiratory bacterial infections after influenza infection. However, there are no observational studies evaluating the immunogenicity, tolerance and acceptance of 2009 influenza A vaccine in CHC patients.
We evaluated the immunogenicity of influenza A vaccine (Pandemrix®) by using the hemagglutination inhibition (HI) titers method in a well defined cohort of CHC patients receiving or not receiving pegylated-interferon and ribavirin, and compared it with healthy subjects (controls). A group of patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) under immunosuppression, thought to have a lower immune response to seasonal influenza vaccine, were also included as a negative control group. In addition, tolerance to injection site reactions and acceptance was assessed by a validated questionnaire (Vaccinees' perception of injection-VAPI-questionnaire).
Of 114 subjects invited to participate, 68% accepted and, after exclusions, 72 were included. Post-vaccination geometric mean titers and seroprotection/seroconversion rates were optimal in CHC patients with ongoing treatment (n = 15; 232, CI95% 46–1166; 93%; 93%), without treatment (n = 10; 226, CI95% 69–743: 100%; 100%) and controls (n = 15;168, CI95% 42–680; 93%; 86%) with no differences between groups (P = 0.8). In contrast, IBD patients had a significantly lower immunogenic response (n = 27; 60, CI95% 42–680;66%;66%; P = 0.006). All the groups showed a satisfactory tolerance although CHC patients with ongoing treatment showed more local discomfort after vaccine injection.
There appeared to be no differences between CHC patients and healthy controls in serological response and acceptance of (H1N1) influenza vaccination.
Several guidelines recommend influenza vaccination for high-risk patients, including those on immune-suppressing medications (IS).
To assess the vaccination status and immunization history of an outpatient inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) population for H1N1 and seasonal influenza.
Among 250 patients, 104 (41.6%) had been immunized against H1N1 and 62 (24.8%) against seasonal influenza, and 158 (63.2%) were taking IS (azathioprine, 6-mercaptopurine, infliximab, adalimumab, methotrexate, cyclosporine or prednisone). Among subjects on IS, the presence of comorbidities warranting vaccination was associated with higher likelihood of H1N1 immunization (62.5% versus 35.8%; P=0.022) but not of seasonal influenza vaccination (25.0% versus 17.2%; P=0.392). Among patients without comorbidities warranting vaccination, IS was associated with a decreased likelihood of vaccination against seasonal influenza (17.2% versus 30.7%; P=0.036) but not H1N1 (35.8% versus 41.3%; P=0.46). The frequency of H1N1 vaccination was significantly higher among patients who visited a general practitioner at least once yearly (45.7% versus 20%; P=0.0027), with a similar trend for seasonal influenza vaccination (27.1% versus 12.5%; P=0.073). Among 91 patients on IS who declined vaccination, 39.6% reported fear of immediate side effects, 29.7% reported concerns about developing serious medical complications, 15.4% reported concerns about activating IBD and 15.4% were not aware that vaccination was indicated.
Current strategies for vaccinating IBD patients on IS are inadequate. Primary care provider education, incentive programs and regular primary care contact may improve immunization uptake.
Crohn disease; Immunization; Influenza; Inflammatory bowel disease; Ulcerative colitis; Vaccination
The Department of Health recommends pneumococcal vaccination opportunistically or when immunising against influenza. This was a study in one general practice to assess the feasibility of targeting patients for pneumococcal vaccination in primary care. We also examined the rate of uptake of pneumococcal vaccine in identified risk groups after one year of a pneumococcal vaccination programme. A self-administered questionnaire was given to patients attending for influenza vaccine between September and December 1996. A total of 551/747 (73.8%) patients returned completed questionnaires. Few patients receiving influenza vaccination (133/509, 26%) were aware of pneumococcal vaccine. Only 55/108 (51%) of those given influenza vaccination were in a clinical risk group for pneumococcal vaccine. Attitudes towards vaccination were more positive and intention to take up pneumococcal vaccination significantly greater in high-risk patients compared to those who were not in a risk group. A targeted vaccination campaign directed at high-risk patients, both opportunistically and those attending for influenza vaccination over one year, resulted in the following proportions of patients in at-risk groups being vaccinated: coronary disease 144/312 (46%), diabetes 79/132 (60%), splenectomy 2/2 (100%), chronic obstructive airways disease and asthma 135/700 (19%), and chronic renal failure 5/9 (56%). Most doses of pneumococcal vaccine (336/463; 73%) were delivered to patients in high-risk groups. We conclude that a well-organised pneumococcal vaccination campaign can improve coverage of at-risk patients in general practice. Programmes to increase patient awareness of the vaccine, improved availability of vaccine, and practice guidelines, would help to target the vaccine to at-risk patients. Patients with chronic lung disease and asthma were particularly difficult to define and target in this study. A review of the UK guidelines, aligning those for pneumococcal and influenza vaccination and including patients over 65 years, would improve the logistics of vaccine delivery.
Keywords: pneumococcal vaccination; influenza vaccination; primary care; audit
Three main categories of persons are targeted by the French influenza vaccination strategy: all persons aged 65 years or over, those aged less than 65 years with certain underlying medical conditions and health care workers. The main objective of this study was to estimate rates of influenza immunization in these target groups attending a medical consultation for two consecutive influenza seasons: 2009–2010 (seasonal and pandemic vaccines) and 2010–2011 (seasonal vaccine).
A standardized questionnaire was mailed to 1323 general practitioners (GPs) of the Sentinelles Network, collecting data on all patients seen on a randomly assigned day. For every patient, following information was collected: age, gender, BMI, presence of any medical condition that increases risk of severe influenza illness, and vaccination status for the three vaccines mentioned.
Two hundred and three GPs agreed to participate and included 4248 patients. Overall, in persons with high risk of severe influenza, the estimated vaccine coverages (VC) were 60%, (95% CI = 57%; 62%) for the seasonal vaccine in 2010–2011, 61% (59%; 63%) for the seasonal vaccine in 2009–2010 and 23% (21%; 25%), for the pandemic vaccine in 2009–2010. Among people aged 65 years and over (N=1259, 30%) VC was estimated for seasonal vaccines at 72% (70%; 75%) in 2010–2011 and 73% (71%; 76%) in 2009–2010, and 24% (22%; 26%) for the pandemic vaccine. The lowest seasonal VC were observed in younger persons (<65 years) with underlying medical conditions, in particular pregnant women (<10%) and overweight persons (<30%).
Our study shows that influenza vaccination coverage among patients of the French Sentinelles general practitioners remains largely below the target of 75% defined by the 2004 French Public Health Law, and underscores the need for the implementation of public health interventions likely to increase vaccination uptake.
Vaccination; Influenza; General practitioners; Sentinelles network; Pregnancy; Obesity
Influenza represents a substantial global healthcare burden, with annual epidemics resulting in 3–5 million cases of severe illness with a significant associated mortality. In addition, the risk of a virulent and lethal influenza pandemic has generated widespread and warranted concern. Currently licensed influenza vaccines are limited in their ability to induce efficacious and long-lasting herd immunity. In addition, and as evidenced by the H1N1 pandemic in 2009, there can be a significant delay between the emergence of a pandemic influenza and an effective, antibody-inducing vaccine. There is, therefore, a continued need for new, efficacious vaccines conferring cross-clade protection—obviating the need for biannual reformulation of seasonal influenza vaccines. Development of such a vaccine would yield enormous health benefits to society and also greatly reduce the associated global healthcare burden. There are a number of alternative influenza vaccine technologies being assessed both preclinically and clinically. In this review we discuss viral vectored vaccines, either recombinant live-attenuated or replication-deficient viruses, which are current lead candidates for inducing efficacious and long-lasting immunity toward influenza viruses. These alternate influenza vaccines offer real promise to deliver viable alternatives to currently deployed vaccines and more importantly may confer long-lasting and universal protection against influenza viral infection.
Vaccination against seasonal influenza is far from universal among groups specifically recommended for vaccine. There is little research to guide communication with patients about vaccination.
To assess the utility of the self-reported intention to be vaccinated against seasonal influenza in predicting vaccine uptake, reasons for being unvaccinated, and willingness to be vaccinated based on a doctor’s recommendation.
We analyzed data from a subset of respondents (n = 1,527) specifically recommended by the ACIP for vaccination against seasonal influenza who participated in two national surveys of adults age 18 and older conducted in November 2008 and March 2009.
Over half who intended to be vaccinated had been vaccinated. Compared to those without intentions, those with intentions were one-fifth as likely (p < 0.01) to cite lack of need and five times more likely (p < 0.01) to cite “not getting around to being vaccinated” as main reasons for not being vaccinated. Roughly two-fifths of those without the intention to be vaccinated indicated a willingness to be vaccinated based on a doctor’s recommendation.
Asking simple questions about the intention to be vaccinated against seasonal influenza may be an efficient means of identifying patients with whom extended discussion of vaccine benefits is warranted.
flu vaccination; self-reported intentions; study
BACKGROUND. Elderly people in residential accommodation are particularly susceptible to outbreaks of influenza. Up to 70% of residents can become ill and many will develop complications or die. Immunization can prevent such outbreaks and is cost-effective. AIM. A study was undertaken to measure influenza immunization coverage in residential accommodation for elderly people and to identify factors that might influence uptake. METHOD. In March 1992, a questionnaire survey was conducted of all 113 registered nursing and residential homes for elderly people, in South Glamorgan. It asked about the demographic characteristics of people resident on 1 October 1991, their influenza immunization history and the homes' arrangements for administering immunizations. RESULTS. Questionnaires were returned by respondents from 75 homes (66%). Mean influenza vaccine uptake was 67%. Uptake was higher in nursing homes (mean of 82% in eight nursing homes) than in homes registered as both nursing and residential homes (mean of 76% in six homes) or in residential homes (mean of 65% in 61 homes). Nearly all of those immunized (94%) had been immunized by the end of November 1991. Residents who were reported to have underlying disease that increased their risk of complications if they contracted influenza were no more likely to have been immunized than those without risk factors. Immunization coverage varied considerably both between homes and between general practices. Most general practices in South Glamorgan had several elderly people in residential accommodation on their list, but only nine out of 64 practices had immunized all the elderly residents on their list and 12 practices had immunized fewer than half. Routine recording of immunization status in nursing and residential homes was variable, often as a consequence of poor communication between the primary health care team and staff at the home. Even where recorded, retrieval of the data was sometimes a problem. CONCLUSION. Influenza immunization coverage could be improved if general practices held a case register of all at-risk patients including elderly residents, and if nursing and residential homes were encouraged to keep better immunization records. These measures would facilitate year-on-year monitoring of influenza immunization coverage and the targeting of homes with low immunization coverage.
To determine the similarity between influenza vaccine antigens and viruses associated with laboratory-confirmed infections by virus type/subtype, strain and influenza season; to correlate pneumonia and influenza hospitalization and mortality rates with the number of laboratory-confirmed influenza infections in an influenza season; and to develop predictive indicators of the likely incidence of current strains in the following season.
Ecological study using national laboratory, pneumonia and influenza hospitalization and mortality data.
Canada, influenza seasons from 1980 to 1992.
Individuals with laboratory-confirmed influenza infections, pneumonia and influenza hospitalizations or deaths.
Similarity of circulating strains and vaccine antigens was 99% for A(H1N1), 65% for A(H3N2) and 65% for B strains. During outbreaks, pneumonia and influenza hospitalization, and mortality rates increased 19% or less and 21% or less for A(H1N1), respectively; 28% or less and 51% or less for A(H3N2), and 19% or less and 16% or less for B strains. There were usually fewer than 25 laboratory-confirmed A(H1N1) infections with a particular strain in a season if there had been more than 25 infections with similar strains the previous season. For A(H3N2), the figure was 100, and for B it was 150.
Matches were excellent for A(H1N1) and good for A(H3N2) plus B strains. Hospitalization and mortality rates increased substantially during outbreaks, eg, estimated 1609 excess deaths during a widespread A(H3N2) outbreak. This study identifies relationships that provide some ability to predict the incidence of a particular influenza strain in a coming season based on the incidence of strains similar to it in the previous season.
Influenza incidence; Influenza-related hospitalizations and mortality; Influenza vaccine
OBJECTIVE: To show whether a general practice setting is a practical and effective medium for increasing uptake of pneumococcal vaccine. DESIGN: Follow up study of responses of general practices (debriefing by questionnaire or small group session) and patients (questionnaire sent to 429 patients vaccinated in a two week period) to vaccination campaign. SETTING AND SUBJECTS: Patients registered with general practices of one family health services authority. INTERVENTIONS: Pneumococcal vaccination campaign including clinical guidelines and support materials. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Proportion of general practitioners offering pneumococcal vaccine; proportion of patients at risk who were vaccinated between 1 May and 31 December 1995; number of splenectomised patients identified and vaccinated in same period; views of patients who were vaccinated. RESULTS: Proportion of general practitioners offering pneumococcal vaccine increased from 17% to 89% during the campaign. Estimated number of patients at risk who were vaccinated increased from 656 (4%) to 5982 (33%) during campaign. Of 61 splenectomised patients identified, 30 had been vaccinated previously and 27 were vaccinated during campaign. Practices in which a general practitioner took or shared the lead had higher vaccination rates and used vaccine up faster. Of the 384 patients whose questionnaires were used in analysis, only 35 had heard of pneumococcal vaccine before the campaign, 198 reported side effects (mostly minor and local, but systemic and severe local reactions were more common than expected), and 337 were pleased they had been vaccinated (only five expressed dissatisfaction). CONCLUSION: A practice based campaign is an effective method of increasing uptake of pneumococcal vaccine by high risk groups.
Introduction: Emerging data suggest that receipt of the seasonal influenza vaccine may be associated with an enhanced risk of infection with pandemic (H1N1) 2009 (pH1N1). We sought to evaluate different seasonal vaccination strategies during a pandemic in the presence of varying levels of pH1N1 infection risk following seasonal influenza vaccine receipt.
Methods: We developed a deterministic, age-structured compartmental model of influenza transmission in the presence of two circulating strains (pH1N1 and seasonal). We examined the effect of different seasonal vaccination strategies on total influenza-attributable mortality in the Canadian population for the 2009-2010 influenza season.
Results: Seasonal vaccination strategies that focused on individuals aged ≥65 or delayed seasonal vaccine delivery until January tended to minimize mortality. In the presence of low levels (<2%) of co-circulating seasonal influenza, mortality estimates were sensitive to the seasonal vaccine-associated relative risk (RR), with small increases in RR resulting in enhanced mortality compared to the no seasonal vaccination option. Timing of the peak of pH1N1 activity and the amount of circulating seasonal influenza modified the impact of enhanced risk on total mortality.
Discussion: In the presence of uncertainty surrounding enhanced risk of pH1N1 acquisition with seasonal vaccine receipt, delaying seasonal vaccine delivery or restricting vaccine to individuals aged ≥65 may reduce overall influenza-attributable mortality in the Canadian population.
Vaccination coverage rates for seasonal influenza are not meeting national and international targets. Here, we investigated whether the 2009/2010 A/H1N1 pandemic influenza affected the uptake of influenza vaccines.
In December 2009/January 2010 and April 2010, 500 randomly selected members of the general public in Germany, France, the United States, China, and Mexico were surveyed by telephone about vaccination for seasonal and A/H1N1 pandemic influenza. Also, in April 2010, 100 randomly selected general practitioners were surveyed. Adult vaccine coverage in December 2009/January 2010 for A/H1N1 pandemic and seasonal influenza were, respectively, 12% and 29% in France, 11% and 25% in Germany, 41% and 46% in the US, 13% and 30% in Mexico, and 12% and 10% in China. Adult uptake rates in April 2010 were higher in Mexico but similar or slightly lower in the other countries. Coverage rates in children were higher than in adults in the US, Mexico, and China but mostly lower in Germany and France. Germans and French viewed the threat of A/H1N1 pandemic influenza as low to moderate, whereas Mexicans, Americans, and Chinese viewed it as moderate to serious, opinions generally mirrored by general practitioners. The recommendation of a general practitioner was a common reason for receiving the pandemic vaccine, while not feeling at risk and concerns with vaccine safety and efficacy were common reasons for not being vaccinated. Inclusion of the A/H1N1 pandemic strain increased willingness to be vaccinated for seasonal influenza in the United States, Mexico, and China but not in Germany or France.
The 2009/2010 A/H1N1 influenza pandemic increased vaccine uptake rates for seasonal influenza in Mexico but had little effect in other countries. Accurate communication of health information, especially by general practitioners, is needed to improve vaccine coverage rates.
To determine both practice and child characteristics and practice strategies associated with receipt of influenza vaccine in young children during the 2004–2005 influenza season, the first season for the universal influenza vaccination recommendation for all children aged 6–23 months.
Clinical and demographic data from randomly selected children aged 6–23 months were obtained by chart review from a community-based cohort study in three U.S. counties. The proportion of children vaccinated by April 5, 2005 in each practice was obtained. To assess practice characteristics and strategies, sampled practices received a self-administered practice survey. Practice and child characteristics predicting complete influenza vaccination were determined using multinomial logistic regression.
Forty-six (88%) of 52 sampled practices completed the survey and permitted chart reviews. Of 2384 children aged 6–23 months who were studied, 27% were completely vaccinated. The proportion of children completely vaccinated varied widely among practices (0–71%). Most practices (87%) implemented ≥ 1 vaccination strategy (year-round discussion with parents about influenza vaccine, evening/weekend influenza vaccine clinics, standing orders, or saving a second dose for children who had received the first of two recommended doses). Complete influenza vaccination was associated with three practice characteristics-- suburban location, lower patient volume, and vaccination strategies of evening/weekend vaccine clinics; and with child characteristics of younger age, existing high-risk conditions, ≥ 6 well visits to the practice by age 3 years, and any practice visit from October through January.
Modifiable factors associated with increased influenza vaccination coverage include October-January practice visits and evening/weekend vaccine clinics.
influenza vaccine; vaccine coverage; strategies; practices; children
Influenza causes seasonal infections worldwide that can lead to complications and deaths in every age group. The most effective and cheapest way to combat influenza is through vaccination. In many countries, including Poland, for each age group, the rate of vaccination against influenza is still at a very low level, which generates high social costs, not infrequently family tragedies in the case of irreversible complications of influenza, or death of a loved one. Regular vaccination should be part of good medical practice, as well as an individual’s engagement in their own health and in that of their family. Based on numerous studies, it is estimated that the effectiveness of current inactivated influenza vaccine in reducing morbidity and mortality in high-risk groups ranges from 50–70%. According to data from the National Institute of Public Health-National Institute of Hygiene, the rate of vaccination in children in 2008 in Poland was very low. In the group of children aged from 6 months to 14 years, only 1.1–1.6% were vaccinated. Although influenza vaccination for people aged over 65 years was free of charge in many provinces in this group, only 13.4% of this population was immunized, while in the case of people with chronic diseases, only 11.1% were immunized. The vaccination rate among health care employees is an embarrassing 6.4%. More educational activities addressed to both medical professionals and patients are required in order to increase influenza vaccine coverage in Poland.
influenza; vaccination; vaccines; Poland
The purpose of this study was to compare influenza vaccination rates of pregnant women in a public safety-net health system to national coverage rates during the 2009-2010 pandemic influenza season. A chart review of a random sample of deliveries was undertaken to determine rates of coverage and predictors of vaccine coverage of women who obtained prenatal care and delivered in our health system. Rates were calculated from deliveries from when the vaccine was first available through April 30, 2010. Coverage rates were 54% for the seasonal influenza vaccine and 51% for the H1N1 vaccine. Race/ethnicity, insurance status and language spoken did not predict the receipt of either vaccine. When we included only births which occurred through March 12, 2010, as was done in a large population-based study, the rates were 61% and 59%, respectively. Our rates are about 10% higher than the rates reported in that study. Our comprehensive strategy for promoting vaccine coverage achieved higher vaccination rates in a safety-net health system, which serves groups historically less likely to be vaccinated, than those reported for the pregnant population at large.
Reactogenicity of trivalent influenza vaccine prepared for the 1988-89 season was assessed as part of a first-time voluntary influenza prevention program among hospital staff. Of approximately 500 full-time workers in areas with the highest concentrations of patients at high risk for influenza complications offered the vaccine 288 accepted. Of these, 266 (92%) returned a questionnaire regarding any symptoms experienced within 48 hours after vaccination; 238 (90%) of the respondents reported adverse effects. Soreness at the injection site was described by 229 subjects, 58 (25%) of whom had constant aching and 123 (54%) soreness with arm movement. Symptoms resolved in 1 to 2 days, and only 21 (9%) of those who reported symptoms said they took analgesic medication. Systemic adverse effects were described by 130 subjects (49%). Intercurrent illness accounted for some of these complaints, but 65 people (24%) described at least two of the following symptoms: generalized aching, tiredness, nausea, chills or onset of fever within 12 hours after vaccination (a symptom complex previously attributed to influenza vaccine). Systemic symptoms resolved within 0.5 to 2 days. Thirteen subjects (5%) reported missing work because of arm soreness (1 subject) or systemic symptoms (12). Adverse effects were encountered more often than expected, probably because most of the workers were young and lacked immunity to influenza. Acceptability of the program could likely be improved by using a split-virus vaccine.
Two antigenically distinct lineages of influenza B viruses have circulated globally since 1985. However, licensed trivalent seasonal influenza vaccines contain antigens from only a single influenza B virus and thus provide limited immunity against circulating influenza B strains of the lineage not present in the vaccine. In recent years, predictions about which B lineage will predominate in an upcoming influenza season have been no better than chance alone, correct in only 5 of the 10 seasons from 2001 to 2011. Consequently, seasonal influenza vaccines could be improved by inclusion of influenza B strains of both lineages. The resulting quadrivalent influenza vaccines would allow influenza vaccination campaigns to respond more effectively to current global influenza epidemiology. Manufacturing capacity for seasonal influenza vaccines has increased sufficiently to supply quadrivalent influenza vaccines, and methods to identify the influenza B strains to include in such vaccines are in place. Multiple manufacturers have initiated clinical studies of quadrivalent influenza vaccines. Data from those studies, taken together with epidemiologic data regarding the burden of disease caused by influenza B infections, will determine the safety, effectiveness, and benefit of utilizing quadrivalent vaccines for the prevention of seasonal influenza disease.
influenza; public health; quadrivalent; surveillance; vaccine