Survey: Flu vaccine under-utilized

Jan. 22, 2008 at 6:01 PM

ANN ARBOR, Mich., Jan. 22 (UPI) -- Flu vaccination rates among young U.S. children and high-risk adults are much lower than expected nationwide, a survey indicates.

The University of Michigan C.S. Mott Children's Hospital National Poll on Children's Health found 26 states reported moderate flu activity with an estimated 40 million doses of the seasonal influenza vaccine still available,

Dr. Matthew M. Davis, director of the National Poll on Children's Health, said a poll released in October reported that 65 percent of parents planned to have their young children -- under age 5 -- vaccinated against the flu during the 2007-08 flu season. But the latest poll, conducted in December, found many parents did not follow through with those plans.

The latest survey found that among households with children ages 5 and younger, there was only a 36 percent vaccination rate by December. Eighteen percent of households polled said they still planned to vaccinate their children this season. Flu vaccination rates among high-risk adults -- adults ages 50 and older and younger adults with chronic diseases -- are well-below national vaccine target levels.

Davis encourages parents to act now to vaccinate themselves and their children against the flu.

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