A Survey of Physician-Led Influenza Immunization Programs in Schools
To determine whether school-located immunization programs (SIPs) offer an efficient method of immunizing children aged 5 to 18 years now recommended for annual influenza immunization, the author interviewed 8 of 10 physicians (identified through media reports and personal communication) who independently conducted SIPs during 2005-2007. SIPs targeted 1 to 6 schools (mainly smaller private schools) and immunized <or=33% of eligible students. Permission and payment were obtained in advance. All SIPs offered live attenuated influenza vaccines. The physicians organized the SIPs and secured the commitment of school nurses and administrators. With 1 exception, physicians were able to recoup all costs associated with the SIP. All physicians found their experience personally rewarding and expressed a willingness to organize future SIPs. Physician-led SIPs are a viable means for immunizing schoolchildren against influenza and, if properly planned, can become self-sustaining annual events, particularly in private schools.
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