Date of this Version
PEDIATRICS Volume 118, Number 3, September 2006
BACKGROUND. Beginning in 2002 the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices
encouraged, when feasible, annual influenza vaccination of all children aged 6 to
23 months and household contacts and out-of-home caregivers of children <2
years of age.
OBJECTIVE.We sought to report influenza vaccination coverage for the 2002–2003
and 2003–2004 influenza seasons among children aged 6 to 23 months according
to demographic and immunization-provider characteristics.
METHODS. Data from the 2003 and 2004 National Immunization Survey were analyzed.
Two measures of childhood influenza vaccination are reported: receipt of
>1 influenza vaccination and full vaccination (ie, receipt of the appropriate
number of doses on the basis of previous vaccination history). x2 tests and
logistic-regression analyses to test for associations between influenza vaccination
status and demographic characteristics were performed.
RESULTS. In the 2002–2003 and 2003–2004 influenza seasons only 7.4% and 17.5%,
respectively, of children aged 6 to 23 months received >1 influenza vaccination,
whereas only 4.4% and 8.4%, respectively, were fully vaccinated. In both seasons,
adjusted influenza vaccination coverage was significantly lower among children
living below the poverty level; non-Hispanic black children; older children; children
with less-educated mothers; children vaccinated only at public clinics; and
children not residing in a metropolitan statistical area.
CONCLUSIONS. During the first 2 years of the Advisory Committee on Immunization
Practices’ encouragement for children aged 6 to 23 months to receive influenza
vaccination, coverage was low, with significant demographic differences in receipt
of vaccination. Beginning with the 2004–2005 influenza season, they replaced the
encouragement with a recommendation that children aged 6 to 23 months receive
annual influenza vaccination. Substantial work remains to fully and equitably
implement this new recommendation and ensure vaccination with 2 doses for
previously unvaccinated children.