Household contacts of people at high risk for influenza complications should receive yearly influenza vaccination to reduce potential viral transmission. We evaluated influenza vaccine coverage among children to determine whether or not living with a high-risk adult predicts the likelihood of being vaccinated.
Using the 2006 National Health Interview Survey, we examined influenza vaccination rates among children (aged 1–17 years) who did and did not reside in a household with an adult at high risk for influenza-related complications.
Among 24,195 sampled families, there were 8,976 high-risk adults, 18.9% of whom reported living with a person 17 years of age of younger. Influenza vaccination rates by age group among children living with high-risk adults were 41.7% (1 year), 30.3% (2–4 years), and 20.0% (5–17 years). Unadjusted influenza vaccination rates were significantly higher for school-aged children who lived with a high-risk adult compared with those who did not (20.0% vs. 15.0%, p<0.001). Among children younger than 5 years of age, for whom vaccination was universally recommended at the time of the survey, the rates did not differ. After adjusting for the child's age, gender, race, insurance coverage, medical visits, and chronic conditions, children who lived with a high-risk adult were not statistically more likely than those who did not live with a high-risk adult to receive influenza vaccination (odds ratio = 1.16, 95% confidence interval 0.99, 1.36).
Children had low rates of influenza vaccination, and those who lived with high-risk adults were not significantly more likely to be vaccinated. Clinicians caring for high-risk adults should remind eligible household contacts to receive influenza vaccine.