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Respiratory Regulation - Clinical Advances

Volume 755 of the series Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology pp 243-249

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Influenza Immunization Rates in Children and Teenagers in Polish Cities: Conclusions from the 2009/2010 Season

  • Ernest KucharAffiliated withDepartment of Pediatric Infectious Diseases, Wroclaw Medical University Email author 
  • , Aneta Nitsch-OsuchAffiliated withDepartment of Family Medicine, Warsaw Medical University
  • , Katarzyna ZycinskaAffiliated withDepartment of Family Medicine, Warsaw Medical University
  • , Katarzyna MiskiewiczAffiliated withDepartment of Pediatric Infectious Diseases, Wroclaw Medical University
  • , Leszek SzenbornAffiliated withDepartment of Pediatric Infectious Diseases, Wroclaw Medical University
  • , Kazimierz WardynAffiliated withDepartment of Family Medicine, Warsaw Medical University

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Abstract

The aim of this study was to determine influenza vaccine coverage among children aged 0–18 years in inner city practices in Poland in the 2009/2010 season and factors that might have influenced low vaccination coverage. A retrospective review of 11,735 vaccination charts of children aged 0–18 from seven randomly selected general practices in the capital city of Warsaw and one large practice in the city of Wroclaw was performed. We calculated the numbers of children who were vaccinated in the 2009/2010 season and analyzed the age distribution of vaccinated children. We also reviewed the vaccination history in patients who were vaccinated against influenza including: previous influenza vaccinations, modification (widening) of standard immunization scheme, and a proportion of children who completed the recommended two-dose schedule of vaccination. In the calculations, 95% confidence intervals were used. Out of the total of 11,735 children surveyed, 362 (3.1%, CI: 2.8–3.4%) were vaccinated against influenza in the 2009/2010 season. For 115 of these 362 (31.8%, CI: 27.0–36.6%) children it was their first vaccination against influenza. The mean age of a vaccinated child was 6.0 ± 4.3 years. Children aged 2–5 were most commonly vaccinated (153/362, 42.3%, CI: 37.2–47.4%), while infants (aged 6–12 months) were vaccinated rarely (15/362, 4.4%, CI: 2.2–6.2%). In the group of children younger than 8 years (86/362 children) who were vaccinated for the first time in their life only 29/86 (33.7%, CI: 23.7–43.7%) completed the recommended two-dose schedule. In conclusion, the importance of vaccinating children against influenza is hugely understated in Poland. General physicians should actively recommend annual influenza immunization of children. Recommendations of National Immunization Program concerning influenza vaccine should be clearer, simpler, and easier to implement.

Keywords

Influenza Immunization Prevention Public health Vaccination