532. School Based Influenza Immunization
Session: Poster Abstract Session: Influenza Vaccines
Friday, October 21, 2011
Room: Poster Hall B1

Influenza is a highly infectious virus that is transmitted person to person via aerosolized droplets causing yearly epidemics and intermittent pandemics. Children are at high risk for influenza and influenza related mortality but additionally are considered important vectors in the spread of influenza. Despite established recommendations, immunization rates of children remain suboptimal at 16% for school aged children. Objective of the study was to assess the effect of school based influenza immunization on absenteeism due to influenza related illness.


This pilot study was an un-blinded, descriptive, study to evaluate the logistical issues and impact of a school based influenza vaccine program. Trivalent inactivated virus (TIV) was offered to school aged children in grades K-8 and faculty at four Kansas City Missouri (KCMO) schools that were identified by the KCMO Health Department in the fall 2010. Consent was obtained and vaccine given on site at school based functions. Absenteeism was calculated weekly from January 3 through April 15, 2011 and participating schools were matched to like schools within the district.


A total of 328/1382 (24%) students received TIV and 84/215 (39%) of staff received TIV. Of those vaccinated there was 91 absent days compared to 3642 for the unvaccinated group during the study period which was statistically significant (p-value <0.001). Comparing to like schools matched for size and demographics, non-participating schools had 5391 absent days which was statistically significant when compared to participating schools (p value <0.001). In the vaccinated group, 54% had 1 day duration of symptoms and most common symptoms include fever (45%) and cough (29%).


It is a current recommendation that children receive influenza vaccine but despite this actual vaccination rates remain low. Our study demonstrates that a school based influenza vaccine program is feasible and our data shows it can reduce absenteeism rates when compared to those who did not receive vaccine. Additionally, when compared to matched schools, those schools who participated in the influenza program had lower overall absenteeism rates suggesting a herd immunity effect.

Subject Category: I. Adult and Pediatric Vaccines

Gina Weddle, RN, MSN1, Mary Anne Jackson, MD, FIDSA2, Nicky Spears, RN3 and Kathy Hulse, RN MSN3, (1)Infectious Disease, The Children's Mercy Hospital, Kc, MO, (2)Children's Mercy Hospitals and Clinics, Kansas City, MO, (3)Nursing Service, Children's Mercy Hospital, KC, MO


G. Weddle, None

M. A. Jackson, None

N. Spears, None

K. Hulse, None

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