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Vaccine. 2012 Jan 5;30(2):289-93. doi: 10.1016/j.vaccine.2011.10.097. Epub 2011 Nov 12.

Direct and indirect impact of influenza vaccination of young children on school absenteeism.

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Department of Pediatrics, University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD, USA.


Special mass influenza vaccination programs of elementary school-aged children (ESAC) in some or all Maryland Counties were conducted during the falls of 2005-2007. From 3% to 46% of ESAC received live attenuated influenza vaccine during these county programs, which were in addition to routine influenza vaccination efforts conducted in county medical offices. Anonymous, all cause public school absentee data for all grades was available from 11 of Maryland's 24 counties. Binomial regression was used to estimate associations between the percentage of children vaccinated in each county and the degree of increase in absenteeism rates during influenza outbreaks. We estimated that, for every 20% increase in vaccination rates for ESAC during these special programs, a 4% decrease in the rise in absentee rates occurred during influenza outbreak periods in both elementary and upper schools (P<0.05). These results suggest both direct and indirect benefits of influenza vaccination of young children.

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