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    ABSTRACT: Last year, the influenza vaccine did not match the circulating strains very well, and its overall protective efficacy was only 40%. All three antigens contained in the 2008-2009 vaccine are new. Surveillance data from the Southern Hemisphere during the summer of 2008 show that this vaccine is expected to match well the circulating strains in the Northern Hemisphere.
    Cleveland Clinic Journal of Medicine 01/2009; 75(12):865-70. DOI:10.3949/ccjm.75a.08088 · 2.71 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Flu vaccination significantly reduces the risk of serious complications like hospitalization and death among community-dwelling older people, therefore vaccination programmes targeting this population group represent a common policy in developed Countries. Among the determinants of vaccine uptake in older age, a growing literature suggests that social relations can play a major role. Drawing on the socio-behavioral model of Andersen-Newman--which distinguishes predictors of health care use in predisposing characteristics, enabling resources and need factors--we analyzed through multilevel regressions the determinants of influenza immunization in a sample of 25,183 elderly reached by a nationally representative Italian survey. Being over 85-year old (OR = 1.99; 95% CI 1.77 - 2.21) and suffering from a severe chronic disease (OR = 2.06; 95% CI 1.90 - 2.24) are the strongest determinants of vaccine uptake. Being unmarried (OR = 0.81; 95% CI 0.74 - 0.87) and living in larger households (OR = 0.83; 95% CI 0.74 - 0.87) are risk factors for lower immunization rates. Conversely, relying on neighbors' support (OR = 1.09; 95% CI 1.02 - 1.16) or on privately paid home help (OR = 1.19; 95% CI 1.08 - 1.30) is associated with a higher likelihood of vaccine uptake. Even after adjusting for socio-demographic characteristics and need factors, social support, measured as the availability of assistance from partners, neighbors and home helpers, significantly increases the odds of influenza vaccine use among older Italians.
    BMC Public Health 04/2011; 11(1):207. DOI:10.1186/1471-2458-11-207 · 2.26 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The potential benefits of influenza vaccination programmes targeted at children have gained increasing attention in recent years. We conducted a literature search of economic evaluations of influenza vaccination in those aged ≤18 years. The search revealed 20 relevant articles, which were reviewed. The studies differed widely in terms of the costs and benefits that were included. The conclusions were generally favourable for vaccination, but often applied a wider perspective (i.e. including productivity losses) than the reference case for economic evaluations used in many countries. Several evaluations estimated outcomes from a single-year epidemiological study, which may limit their validity given the year-to-year variation in influenza transmissibility, virulence, vaccine match and prior immunity. Only one study used a dynamic transmission model able to fully incorporate the indirect herd protection to the wider community. The use of dynamic models offers great scope to capture the population-wide implications of seasonal vaccination efforts, particularly those targeted at children.
    PharmacoEconomics 08/2012; 30(8):647-60. DOI:10.2165/11599130-000000000-00000 · 2.45 Impact Factor
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