News | December 14, 2006

Wide Variation Seen in Kids Given Flu Shots in U.S.

During last year's influenza season, the number of infants and toddlers in the U.S. who were vaccinated against the flu varied by tenfold between different locations, according to a new report.

Kathy Fredrickson, at the Arizona Department of Health Services, and associates tallied levels of vaccination among children 6 to 23 months old during the 2005-2006 flu season at sentinel sites in Arizona, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, Oregon and the District of Columbia.

Rates of flu vaccination with at least one dose varied from 6.6 percent to 60.4 percent, according to the team's article in the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention ( CDC).

Compared with vaccination rates during the previous flu season, rates had increased at four sites and decreased at two.

Rates of full vaccination with two doses of the vaccine varied from 2.3 percent to 43.4 percent; however, at five of the sites, less than 23 percent of children were fully inoculated.

Fredrickson and her associates attribute these disparities to the degree of vaccine promotion in each locale, and failure to report administered doses to the sentinel system.

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