Flu vaccine in kids doesn't reduce flu-related hospitalizations, study finds

Although the percentage of children who influenza vaccinations has increased over the past 10 years, influenza-related healthcare encounters did not appear to be clearly related to vaccination trends, according to a study in Pediatrics.

Researchers analyzed the proportion of laboratory-confirmed influenza-related hospitalizations and emergency department visits and compared them to trends in vaccination coverage for children between 6 and 59 months from 2000-2001 through 2010-2011 in Davidson County, Tenn.

Researchers found the number of fully vaccinated children increased from 6 percent in 2000-01 to 38 percent in 2010-11. The median number of influenza-related hospitalizations was 4.5 per 10,000 children per year, and the median number of influenza-related ED visits was 143 per 10,000 children per year.

However, researchers found no clear relation between hospitalizations and ED visits with vaccination trends.

They did find that influenza-related hospital encounters were higher when influenza A(H3N2) was in circulation, with median rates of 8.2 hospitalizations per 10,000 children and 307 ED visits per 10,000 children.

More articles on influenza:

Employee rights vs. patient safety: The balance of mandatory flu shots
Expect a severe flu season, experts say
CDC: This year's flu vaccine not effective on season's predominate strains

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