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    ABSTRACT: Currently, general practitioners and occupational health physicians in The Netherlands face the question whether their patients should be vaccinated against influenza. This follows the addition of two new groups to the list of persons to be vaccinated: those over sixty and people working in health care and health institutions with direct patient contact. These developments stir the hidden resistance to influenza vaccination. It should be clear to everyone that there is no doubt that the vaccination is efficacious and safe. However, the influenza activity in The Netherlands has been low over the last years, which limits the disease burden to be prevented byvaccination. Under these circumstances, the proportion of flu-like symptoms caused by other agents such as respiratory syncytial virus is increased, which may lead to the false impression that the influenza vaccine is not effective. A new pandemic may come at any time, and only then will the efforts to prevent influenza pay off.
    No preview · Article · Nov 2008 · Nederlands tijdschrift voor geneeskunde
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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.
    No preview · Article · Jan 2009 · Cleveland Clinic Journal of Medicine
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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.
    Full-text · Article · Apr 2011 · BMC Public Health
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