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Am J Infect Control. 2012 Sep;40(7):584-9. doi: 10.1016/j.ajic.2012.02.027.

US school/academic institution disaster and pandemic preparedness and seasonal influenza vaccination among school nurses.

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Institute of Biosecurity, Saint Louis University, School of Public Health, St. Louis, MO 63104, USA.



School pandemic preparedness is essential, but has not been evaluated.


An online survey was sent to school nurses (from state school nurse associations and/or state departments of education) between May and July 2011. Overall school pandemic preparedness scores were calculated by assigning 1 point for each item in the school's pandemic plan; the maximum score was 11. Linear regression was used to describe factors associated with higher school pandemic preparedness scores. Nurse influenza vaccine uptake was assessed as well.


A total of 1,997 nurses from 26 states completed the survey. Almost three-quarters (73.7%; n = 1,472) reported receiving the seasonal influenza vaccine during the 2010-11 season. Very few (2.2%; n = 43) reported that their school/district had a mandatory influenza vaccination policy. Pandemic preparedness scores ranged from 0 to 10 points, with an average score of 4.3. Determinants of school pandemic preparedness were as follows: planning to be a point of dispensing during a future pandemic (P < .001), having experienced multiple student or employee hospitalizations and/or deaths related to H1N1 during the pandemic (P = .01 or <.05, respectively), having a lead nurse complete the survey (P < .001), and having the school nurse study participant be a member of the school disaster planning committee (P < .001).


US schools must continue to address gaps in pandemic planning.

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