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Few Child Care Centers Report Flu Vaccine Requirements

Having state influenza vaccine law for children predicted child influenza vaccine requirement

THURSDAY, Dec. 12, 2019 (HealthDay News) — Few child care center directors report having an influenza vaccine requirement for children and adult caregivers, according to a study published online Dec. 12 in the Journal of the Pediatric Infectious Diseases Society.

Timothy R. Shope, M.D., M.P.H., from the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, and colleagues queried child care center directors about vaccine requirements. Items were grouped into four indices: general infection control, use of health consultants, quality of child care, and pandemic influenza preparedness. These indices, together with center and director characteristics, were used to predict influenza vaccine requirements.

The researchers found that only 24.5 and 13.1 percent of the 518 child care center directors reported an influenza vaccine requirement for children and adult caregivers, respectively. There was no correlation seen for center and director characteristics or the indices with director-reported influenza vaccine requirements. Only having a state influenza vaccine law for children and an adult influenza vaccine requirement predicted having a child influenza vaccine requirement after adjustment for covariates. Having a requirement for child influenza vaccine was the only predictor of having an adult vaccine requirement.

“We can’t depend on child care directors’ experience or knowledge for implementing their own influenza vaccine requirements,” Shope said in a statement. “If we’re concerned with the public health of children and preventing influenza morbidity and mortality, we have to legislate the issue.”

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