New Delhi: Fully vaccinating children reduced the risk of hospitalization for complications associated with influenza by 54 per cent, a new study found.
The study was carried out by Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (BGU) and University of Michigan researchers.
The research which was published recently in journal Clinical Infectious Diseases, is one of the few studies worldwide that has tested the effectiveness of childhood vaccination against influenza and risk of hospitalization due to the influenza
The study was led by Dr Hannah Segaloff, an epidemiologist at the University of Michigan’s School of Public Health and Dr Mark Katz of BGU’s department of health management.
The study reviewed the vaccination data of 3,746 hospitalizations of children ages six months to eight years old at six hospitals in Israel.
They were tested for influenza over three winter seasons: 2015-16, 2016-17 and 2017-18.
The findings reveal that the flu vaccine reduced hospitalizations associated with the flu by more than half.
“Children vaccinated according to government guidelines are much better protected from influenza than those who only receive one vaccine,” said Segaloff.
Katz added, “Young children are at high risk of hospitalization due to influenza complications. Children with underlying illnesses such as asthma and heart disease have an even greater risk of complications. It is important to prevent influenza infections in these at-risk groups.”
“This study mirrors a previous study conducted at Clalit Institute where we found that flu vaccine reduces 40% risk of hospitalizations in pregnant women,” said Dr. Ran Balicer of the BGU School of Public Health and director of the Clalit Research Institute.