Flu Vaccines Aimed at Younger Populations Could Break Annual Transmission Cycle

Source: Science Daily


A study published in the journal Vaccine indicates that programs that increase flu vaccination among school-age children and young adults—who account for a large part of flu transmission—would have a bigger payoff than historic vaccine programs targeting the elderly and other groups at high risk of death and serious complications. According to Jan Medlock of the Department of Biomedical Sciences in Oregon State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine, one of the study’s co-authors, “That approach could really limit the cycle of transmission, preventing a great deal of illness while also reducing the number of deaths among high risk groups. … Our new analysis suggests we should reconsider our priorities for vaccination.” Although there is a reluctance to add more vaccines to those mandated for school-age children, the researchers determined that targeting children, young adults, and high-risk individuals for flu vaccination would reduce flu-related deaths by 25 to 100 percent.

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