School-located influenza vaccination (SLIV) programs can substantially enhance the sub-optimal coverage achieved under existing delivery strategies. Randomized SLIV trials have shown these programs reduce laboratory-confirmed influenza among both vaccinated and unvaccinated children. This work explores the effectiveness of a SLIV program in reducing the community risk of influenza and influenza-like illness (ILI) associated emergency care visits.
For the 2011/12 and 2012/13 influenza seasons, we estimated age-group specific attack rates (AR) for ILI from routine surveillance and census data. Age-group specific SLIV program effectiveness was estimated as one minus the AR ratio for Alachua County versus two comparison regions: the 12 county region surrounding Alachua County, and all non-Alachua counties in Florida.
Vaccination of ∼50% of 5-17 year-olds in Alachua reduced their risk of ILI-associated visits, compared to the rest of Florida, by 79% (95% confidence interval: 70, 85) in 2011/12 and 71% (63, 77) in 2012/13. The greatest indirect effectiveness was observed among 0-4 year-olds, reducing AR by 89% (84, 93) in 2011/12 and 84% (79, 88) in 2012/13. Among all non-school age residents, the estimated indirect effectiveness was 60% (54, 65) and 36% (31, 41) for 2011/12 and 2012/13. The overall effectiveness among all age-groups was 65% (61, 70) and 46% (42, 50) for 2011/12 and 2012/13.
Wider implementation of SLIV programs can significantly reduce the influenza-associated public health burden in communities.
Tran CH, Sugimoto JD, Pulliam JR, Ryan KA, Myers PD, Castleman JB, Doty R, Johnson J, Stringfellow J, Kovacevich N, Brew J, Cheung LL, Caron B, Lipori G, Harle CA, Alexander C, Yang Y, Longini IM Jr., Halloran ME, Morris JG Jr., Small PA Jr.. (2014). School-located influenza vaccination reduces community risk for influenza and influenza-like illness emergency care visits. PloS one, 9(12)