Flu Vaccination Rate Low Among Asthmatic Children

Survey suggests vaccination rate is lower than previous estimates

MONDAY, March 12 (HealthDay News) -- Fewer than one in three asthmatic children in the United States receive influenza vaccinations, according to a report published in the March 9 issue of the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. That value is lower than previous estimates, which have been as high as 43 percent.

Researchers at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention analyzed data from the 2005 National Health Interview Survey to assess influenza vaccination rates among asthmatic children. More than 5,000 children aged 2 to 17 were included in the analysis.

Twenty-nine percent of children with asthma received an influenza vaccination during the 2004-2005 season, compared to 10.3 percent of children without asthma. Children who had suffered an asthma attack within the previous year had the highest vaccination rate (35.9 percent), while children aged 5 to 12 who did not have an asthma attack in the previous year had the lowest rate (16.4 percent). Vaccination rates among asthmatic children also increased with the number of health care visits in the preceding year.

"The findings in this analysis indicate that influenza vaccination coverage among children with asthma is inadequate and that opportunities for vaccination during health care provider visits likely are being missed," according to an editorial note.

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Jeffrey Perkel

Jeffrey Perkel

Updated on March 12, 2007

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