School-based influenza vaccine delivery, vaccination rates, and healthcare use in the context of a universal influenza immunization program: An ecological study

The Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences, 2075 Bayview Avenue, Room G1 06, Toronto, Ontario M4N 3M5, Canada.
Vaccine (Impact Factor: 3.62). 03/2010; 28(15):2722-9. DOI: 10.1016/j.vaccine.2010.01.024
Source: PubMed


Influenza vaccines are universally funded in Ontario, Canada. Some public health units (PHUs) vaccinate children in schools. We examined the impact of school-based delivery on vaccination rates and healthcare use of the entire population over seven influenza seasons (2000-2007) using population-based survey and health administrative data. School-based vaccination was associated with higher vaccination rates in school-age children only. Doctors' office visits were lower for PHUs with school-based vaccination for children aged 12-19 but not for other age groups. Emergency department use and hospitalizations were similar between the two groups. In the context of universal influenza vaccination, school-based delivery is associated with higher vaccination rates and modest reductions in healthcare use in school-age children.

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    • "Despite this, influenza vaccination coverage remains low, especially among children and youth [29], [30]. Delivering seasonal influenza vaccination to children at school is a strategy that is not widely used within Canadian provinces and has been tried (but not sustained) in only a few local areas within the province of Ontario [31]. While the perspectives of both health and education sector stakeholders must be considered in the design of such a program, parents are key stakeholders in any vaccination program that targets children as it is they who ultimately decide both if children should be vaccinated and where they should access this health service. "
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