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News From the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
May 18, 2005

Estimated Influenza Vaccination Coverage Among Adults and Children—United States, September 1, 2004–January 31, 2005

JAMA. 2005;293(19):2334-2336. doi:10.1001/jama.293.19.2334

MMWR. 2005;54:304-307

1 figure, 2 tables omitted

In response to the unexpected shortfall in the 2004-05 influenza vaccine supply, CDC recommended in October 2004 that vaccine be reserved for persons in certain priority groups, including persons aged ≥65 years and 6-23 months, persons aged 2-64 years with conditions that increased their risk for influenza complications, residents of chronic-care facilities, close contacts of infants aged <6 months, and health-care workers with direct patient contact.1 In late December 2004, based on declining demand among these groups, two additional groups (i.e., healthy persons aged 50-64 years and household contacts of all persons at high risk) were added to the list of vaccination priority groups.2 To monitor influenza vaccination coverage during the 2004-05 season, the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS), an ongoing, state-based, telephone survey of civilian, noninstitutionalized persons, added new questions to collect information on priority status and the month and year of vaccination for adults and children.3 This report is based on analysis of data collected during February 1-27, 2005, regarding respondent-reported receipt of influenza vaccination during September 1, 2004–January 31, 2005. The results of this analysis indicated that influenza vaccination coverage levels through January 2005 among adults in priority groups nearly reached those in recent years, whereas coverage levels among adults not in priority groups were approximately half of levels in 2003, in part because 9.3% of those unvaccinated persons in nonpriority groups declined vaccination this season. The results further suggested that designation of the priority groups successfully directed the nation’s influenza vaccine supply to those at highest risk. In addition, vaccination coverage among children aged 6-23 months was notable (48.4%), given that 2004-05 was the first year this group was recommended for influenza vaccination.4

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