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1.  How French physicians manage with a future change in the primary vaccination of infants against diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis and poliomyelitis? A qualitative study with focus groups 
BMC Family Practice  2013;14:85.
Background
As in other European countries, the French vaccination schedule changes according to epidemiological and socio-economic situations. Further changes are planned for 2013, including the withdrawal of one dose for primary vaccination against diphtheria, tetanus, polio, pertussis and Haemophilus influenzae. A partnership between the French Technical Vaccination Committee and the French Institute for Health and Medical Research designed a study to assess primary care physicians’ agreement about this modification.
Methods
Qualitative study with focus groups and semi-structured interviews in France. Four focus groups were conducted with physicians, supplemented by four individual interviews.
Results
The physicians of the survey had accepted the suggested vaccination schedule well. A few concerns had been underlined: fear of less follow-up care for infants resulting from the removal of one visit driven by the primary vaccination; fear of loss of vaccine efficacy; suspicion of the existence of financial arguments at the origin of this change; and adjustment to current vaccination schedule. Several suggestions were made: providing strong support from health authorities; developing stable and simple recommendations; providing effective tools for monitoring patient’s vaccination status.
Conclusions
Physicians’ opinions suggested a good acceptance of a possible change about primary vaccination against diphtheria, tetanus, polio, pertussis and Haemophilus influenzae. Physicians’ suggestions resulted from this qualitative study on a new vaccination schedule. It showed how that their involvement was feasible for preparing the implementation of a new vaccination schedule.
doi:10.1186/1471-2296-14-85
PMCID: PMC3691920  PMID: 23782853
Qualitative research; Vaccination; Primary care
2.  Measles Elimination Efforts and 2008–2011 Outbreak, France 
Emerging Infectious Diseases  2013;19(3):357-364.
Although few measles cases were reported in France during 2006 and 2007, suggesting the country might have been close to eliminating the disease, a dramatic outbreak of >20,000 cases occurred during 2008–2011. Adolescents and young adults accounted for more than half of cases; median patient age increased from 12 to 16 years during the outbreak. The highest incidence rate was observed in children <1 year of age, reaching 135 cases/100,000 infants during the last epidemic wave. Almost 5,000 patients were hospitalized, including 1,023 for severe pneumonia and 27 for encephalitis/myelitis; 10 patients died. More than 80% of the cases during this period occurred in unvaccinated persons, reflecting heterogeneous vaccination coverage, where pockets of susceptible persons still remain. Although vaccine coverage among children improved, convincing susceptible young adults to get vaccinated remains a critical issue if the target to eliminate the disease by 2015 is to be met.
doi:10.3201/eid1903.121360
PMCID: PMC3647670  PMID: 23618523
measles; France; epidemiology; elimination; viruses; vaccines; immunization; children; adolescents; young adults; Suggested citation for this article: Antona D; Lévy-Bruhl D; Baudon C; Freymuth F; Lamy M; Maine C; et al. Measles elimination efforts and 2008–2011 outbreak; France. Emerg Infect Dis [Internet]. 2013 Mar [date cited]. http://dx.doi.org/10.3201/eid1903.121360
3.  Burden of influenza, healthcare seeking behaviour and hygiene measures during the A(H1N1)2009 pandemic in France: a population based study 
BMC Public Health  2012;12:947.
Background
Influenza surveillance systems do not allow the identification of the true burden of illness caused by influenza in the community because they are restricted to consulting cases. A study was conducted to estimate the incidence and the burden of self-defined influenza, and to describe healthcare seeking behavior for self-defined influenza during the A(H1N1)2009 pandemic in the French population.
Methods
We conducted a random-based retrospective cross-sectional telephone survey between May 2009 and April 2010 among a random sample of the French population.
Results
For the 10 076 people included, 107 episodes of self-defined influenza were reported. The annual incidence of self-defined influenza was estimated at 13 942 cases per 100 000 inhabitants (CI95% 10 947 – 16 961), 62.1% (CI95% 50.5 – 72.5) of cases consulted a physician and 11.3% (CI95% 5.5 - 21.7) used a face mask. Following recommendations, 37.5% (CI95% 35.5 – 39.5) of people in the survey reported washing their hands more often during the pandemic season, and there was a positive association with being vaccinated against A(H1N1)2009 influenza, being a women, being a child (< 15 years) or living in a big city (≥ 100 000 inhabitants).
Conclusions
Self-defined influenza causes a significant burden of illness in the French population and is a frequent cause for consultation. These results allow a more accurate interpretation of influenza surveillance data and an opportunity to adapt future health education messages.
doi:10.1186/1471-2458-12-947
PMCID: PMC3508974  PMID: 23127166
Self-defined influenza; Burden; Epidemiology; Incidence; Surveillance
4.  Incidence of H1N1 2009 Virus Infection through the Analysis of Paired Plasma Specimens among Blood Donors, France 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(3):e33056.
Background
Knowledge of the age-specific prevalence of seroprotection and incidence of seroconversion infection is necessary to complement clinical surveillance data and statistical models. It provides the basis for estimating the future impact of influenza A (H1N1pdm09) and implementing appropriate prevention and response strategies.
Methods
Using a cross-sectional design, two-stage stratified sampling and paired plasma samples, we estimated the age-specific prevalence of a protective level of H1N1pdm09 antibodies in the French adult population before and after the 2009/10 pandemic, and the proportion of those susceptible that seroconverted due to infection, from a single sample of 1,936 blood donors aged 20–70 years in mainland France in June 2010. Samples with a haemagglutination inhibition (HI) titre ≥1∶40 were considered seropositive, and seroconversion due to infection was defined as a 4-fold increase in titre in the absence of H1N1pdm09 vaccination or pre-pandemic seropositivity.
Results
Out of the 1,936 donors, 1,708 were included in the analysis. Seroprevalence before the pandemic was 6.7% (95% CI 5.0, 8.9) with no significant differences by age-group (p = 0.3). Seroprevalence afterwards was 23.0% (95% CI 17.7, 29.3) with 20–29 year olds having a higher level than older groups (p<0.001). Seroconversion due to infection was 12.2% (95% CI 6.9, 20.5). Younger age-group, vaccination against H1N1 and being seropositive before the pandemic were strongly associated with post-pandemic seropositivity.
Conclusions
Before the 2009/2010 winter influenza season, only 6.7% of the French mainland population aged 20–70 had a level of antibodies usually considered protective. During the first pandemic wave, 12.2% of the population seroconverted due to infection and the seroprevalence after the wave rose to 23%, either due to prepandemic seropositivity, infection or vaccination. This relatively low latter figure contributed to an extension of target groups for influenza vaccination for the 2010/2011 season.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0033056
PMCID: PMC3310844  PMID: 22457734
5.  Influenza vaccination coverage against seasonal and pandemic influenza and their determinants in France: a cross-sectional survey 
BMC Public Health  2011;11:30.
Background
Following the emergence of the influenza A(H1N1)2009 virus, the French ministry of health decided to offer free vaccination against pandemic influenza to the entire French population. Groups of people were defined and prioritised for vaccination.
Methods
We took a random sample of the population of mainland France and conducted a retrospective cross-sectional telephone survey to estimate vaccination coverage against seasonal and pandemic influenza and to identify determinants of these vaccinations.
Results
10,091 people were included in the survey. Overall seasonal influenza vaccination coverage (IVC) remained stable in the population from the 2008-2009 season to the 2009-2010 season reaching 20.6% and 20.8% respectively. Overall pandemic IVC in the French population is estimated to be 11.1% (CI95%: 9.8 - 12.4). The highest pandemic IVC was observed in the 0-4 years age group. For individuals with health conditions associated with higher risk of influenza, pandemic IVC was estimated to be 12.2% (CI95%: 9.8 - 15.1). The main determinants associated with pandemic influenza vaccine uptake were: living in a household with a child < 5 years ORadj: 2.0 (CI95%: 1.3 - 3.1) or with two children < 5 years or more, ORadj: 2.7 (CI95%: 1.4 - 5.1), living in a household where the head of the family is university graduate (>2 years), ORadj: 2.5 (CI95%: 1.5 - 4.1), or has a higher professional and managerial occupation, ORadj: 3.0 (CI95%: 1.5 - 5.5) and being vaccinated against seasonal influenza, ORadj: 7.1 (CI95%: 5.1 - 10.0). Being an individual with higher risk for influenza was not a determinant for pandemic influenza vaccine uptake. These determinants are not the same as those for seasonal influenza vaccination.
Conclusions
Overall A(H1N1)2009 influenza vaccine uptake remained low, particularly among individuals with higher risk for influenza and was lower than that observed for seasonal influenza. The reasons behind people's reluctance to be vaccinated need to be investigated further.
doi:10.1186/1471-2458-11-30
PMCID: PMC3025842  PMID: 21226919
6.  Influenza vaccination coverage of healthcare workers and residents and their determinants in nursing homes for elderly people in France: a cross-sectional survey 
BMC Public Health  2010;10:159.
Background
Nursing home residents bear a substantial burden of influenza morbidity and mortality. Vaccination of residents and healthcare workers (HCWs) is the main strategy for prevention. Despite recommendations, influenza vaccination coverage among HCWs remains generally low.
Methods
During the 2007-2008 influenza season, we conducted a nationwide survey to estimate influenza vaccination coverage of HCWs and residents in nursing homes for elderly people in France and to identify determinants of vaccination rates. Multivariate analysis were performed with a negative binomial regression.
Results
Influenza vaccination coverage rates were 33.6% (95% CI: 31.9-35.4) for HCWs and 91% (95% CI: 90-92) for residents. Influenza vaccination uptake of HCWs varied by occupational category. Higher vaccination coverage was found in private elderly care residences, when free vaccination was offered (RR: 1.89, 1.35-2.64), in small nursing homes (RR: 1.54, 1.31-1.81) and when training sessions and staff meetings on influenza were organized (RR: 1.20, 1.11-1.29). The analysis by occupational category showed that some determinants were shared by all categories of professionals (type of nursing homes, organization of training and staff meetings on influenza). Higher influenza vaccination coverage was found when free vaccination was offered to recreational, cleaning, administrative staff, nurses and nurse assistants, but not for physicians.
Conclusions
This nationwide study assessed for the first time the rate of influenza vaccination among residents and HCWs in nursing homes for elderly in France. Better communication on the current recommendations regarding influenza vaccination is needed to increase compliance of HCWs. Vaccination programmes should include free vaccination and education campaigns targeting in priority nurses and nurse assistants.
doi:10.1186/1471-2458-10-159
PMCID: PMC2850345  PMID: 20338028
7.  Influenza pandemic preparedness in France: modelling the impact of interventions 
Background
Influenza pandemics result in excess mortality and social disruption. To assist health authorities update the French pandemic plan, the authors estimated the number of health events (cases, hospitalisations, and deaths) in a pandemic and compared interventions in terms of impact and efficiency.
Method
A Monte Carlo simulation model, incorporating probability distributions of key variables, provided estimates of health events (HE) by age and risk group. Input variables were set after literature and expert consultation. The impact of targeted influenza vaccination and antiviral prophylaxis/treatment (oseltamivir) in high risk groups (elderly, chronic diseases), priority (essential professionals), and total populations was compared. Outcome measures were HE avoided, number of doses needed, and direct cost per HE avoided.
Results
Without intervention, an influenza pandemic could result in 14.9 million cases, 0.12 million deaths, and 0.6 million hospitalisations in France. Twenty four per cent of deaths and 40% of hospitalisations would be among high risk groups. With a 25% attack rate, 2000–86 000 deaths could be avoided, depending on population targeted and intervention. If available initially, vaccination of the total population is preferred. If not, for priority populations, seasonal prophylaxis seems the best strategy. For high risk groups, antiviral treatment, although less effective, seems more feasible and cost effective than prophylaxis (respectively 29% deaths avoided; 1800 doses/death avoided and 56% deaths avoided; 18 500 doses/death avoided) and should be chosen, especially if limited drug availability.
Conclusion
The results suggest a strong role for antivirals in an influenza pandemic. While this model can compare the impact of different intervention strategies, there remains uncertainty surrounding key variables.
doi:10.1136/jech.2005.034082
PMCID: PMC2563983  PMID: 16614329
influenza; pandemic; disaster planning; antiviral agents; models

Results 1-7 (7)