Children have high rates of healthcare utilization due to influenza. In addition, children also transmit influenza to others in their households and the community. The costs of influenza in children include the direct medical care costs from increased outpatient visits and hospitalizations, and also indirect costs due to productivity losses especially for their parents and due to transmission of the virus to others. A variety of studies using different methods and assumptions have assessed the cost-effectiveness of influenza vaccination of children, and many find that vaccination is either cost saving or cost effective.
"Various simulation studies have assessed the clinical and economic implications of childhood vaccination against seasonal influenza in different settings. These evaluations have shown that influenza vaccination of children is cost-effective and may even be cost-saving
[38,39]. However, most of the previous simulation studies have lacked consideration of herd immunity effects. "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Routine annual influenza vaccination is primarily recommended for all persons aged 60 and above and for people with underlying chronic conditions in Germany. Other countries have already adopted additional childhood influenza immunisation programmes. The objective of this study is to determine the potential epidemiological impact of implementing paediatric influenza vaccination using intranasally administered live-attenuated influenza vaccine (LAIV) in Germany.
A deterministic age-structured model is used to simulate the population-level impact of different vaccination strategies on the transmission dynamics of seasonal influenza in Germany. In our base-case analysis, we estimate the effects of adding a LAIV-based immunisation programme targeting children 2 to 17 years of age to the existing influenza vaccination policy. The data used in the model is based on published evidence complemented by expert opinion.
In our model, additional vaccination of children 2 to 17 years of age with LAIV leads to the prevention of 23.9 million influenza infections and nearly 16 million symptomatic influenza cases within 10 years. This reduction in burden of disease is not restricted to children. About one third of all adult cases can indirectly be prevented by LAIV immunisation of children.
Our results demonstrate that vaccinating children 2-17 years of age is likely associated with a significant reduction in the burden of paediatric influenza. Furthermore, annual routine childhood vaccination against seasonal influenza is expected to decrease the incidence of influenza among adults and older people due to indirect effects of herd protection. In summary, our model provides data supporting the introduction of a paediatric influenza immunisation programme in Germany.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: High-performance neutralizing antibody against influenza virus typically recognizes the globular head region of its hemagglutinin (HA) envelope glycoprotein. To-date, approved human vaccination strategies have been designed to induce such antibodies as a sole means of preventing the consequences of this infection. However, frequent amino-acid changes in the HA globular head allow for efficient immune evasion. Consequently, vaccines inducing such neutralizing antibodies need to be annually re-designed and re-administered at a great expense. These vaccines furthermore provide little-to-no immunity against antigenic-shift strains, which arise from complete replacement of HA or of neuraminidase genes, and pose pandemic risks. To address these issues, laboratory research has focused on inducing immunity effective against all strains, regardless of changes in the HA globular head. Despite prior dogma that such cross-protection needs to be induced by cellular immunity alone, several advances in recent years demonstrate that antibodies of other specificities are capable of cross-strain protection in mice. This review discusses the reactivity, induction, efficacy, and mechanisms of antibodies that react with poorly accessible epitopes in the HA stalk, with the matrix 2 membrane ion channel, and even with the internal nucleoprotein. These advances warrant further investigation of the inducibility and efficacy of such revolutionary antibody strategies in humans.
Frontiers in Immunology 12/2011; 2:76. DOI:10.3389/fimmu.2011.00076
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Acknowledging the growing public health concern caused by the deadly reemergence of infectious diseases in certain United States communities, this research examines how American parents’ policy related beliefs actually translate into their behavior regarding child vaccinations. The results of an empirical analysis using original data from a nationwide Internet survey of parents with at least one child under age 18 (who had a total of 718 adult and minor children) reveal that parents who perceive high levels of societal and individual benefit from vaccination, a high (very favorable) benefit-risk ratio, and low levels of individual risk are more strongly motivated to have their own child (or children) receive all recommended vaccines. In addition, parents who more strongly support mandatory vaccination policy and feel less support for religious and philosophical exemptions and parental decision-making rights regarding the immunization of children are more strongly motivated to have their own child receive all the recommended vaccines. Meanwhile, it has been found that other modifying factors, such as a parent’s autism related experience, parent’s race, and health insurance coverage for his or her child influence the belief-behavior relationship.
The 70th annual meeting of the Midwest Political Science Association (MPSA) Conference., Chicago, IL; 04/2012
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