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News From the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
November 18, 2009

Influenza Vaccination Coverage Among Children and Adults—United States, 2008-09 Influenza Season

JAMA. 2009;302(19):2085-2086. doi:

MMWR. 2009;58:1091-1095

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Before 2008, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) had recommended annual vaccination for influenza for persons aged ≥50 years, 18-49 years at higher risk for influenza complications, and 6 months–4 years.1 In 2008, ACIP expanded the recommendations to include all children aged 5-18 years, beginning with the 2008-09 season, if feasible, but no later than the 2009-10 season.2 This expansion added 26 million children and adolescents to groups recommended for routine influenza vaccination. To assess vaccination uptake among children and adults during the 2008-09 influenza season, CDC analyzed data from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) in 19 states, which represent 43% of the U.S. population. This report summarizes the results of the analysis, which indicated that reported influenza vaccination coverage of ≥1 doses was 40.9% for ages 6-23 months, 32.0% for 2-4 years, and 20.8% for 5-17 years. Among adults, reported coverage was 32.1% for persons aged 18-49 years with high-risk conditions, 42.3% for persons 50-64 years, and 67.2% for persons ≥65 years. These results are consistent with previous studies that have found no significant increases in vaccination coverage for any of these age groups over previous seasons.1-5* These 2008-09 season estimates provide a baseline for assessing implementation of the 2008 recommendation for school-aged children. Attaining higher coverage rates likely will require additional vaccination programs in schools and expanded vaccination services in provider offices.6,7