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Editor's Correspondence
September 26, 2005

Vaccinate Schoolchildren to Reduce Influenza Toll

Arch Intern Med. 2005;165(17):2038. doi:10.1001/archinte.165.17.2038-a

The study reported by Simonsen et al1 in the February 14, 2005, issue of the ARCHIVES is counterintuitive to those of us with clinical experience and will surprise many of our public health decision makers. In keeping with best practice guidelines, clinicians have aspired to ever-higher coverage rates for influenza immunization for our older patients. Now it appears that immunizing older patients apparently makes little or no impression on the commonly encountered flu viruses of the past 30-plus years, as best as can be discerned from mortality patterns among the elderly. This contrasts with data from other studies, however.2