Burden of influenza-like illness and effectiveness of influenza vaccination among working adults aged 50-64 years.

January 30, 2009

Source: Clinical Infectious Diseases 2009;48:292-298

For abstract link here

Year of publication: 2009

Publication Type: Qualitative Research

Length of Publication: 7 pages

In a nutshell: Background.Uncertainties regarding influenza disease impact and benefits of vaccination may contribute to low vaccination rates among adults aged 50–64 years.

Methods.This prospective cohort study assessed the burden of influenza-like illness (ILI) among working adults aged 50–64 years and the effectiveness of influenza vaccination in reducing the rate of ILI and productivity losses. Employees of the University of Minnesota (Minneapolis) were invited via e-mail to participate in the study during October 2006. The study data were collected using internet-based surveys at baseline (October 2006) and during the follow-up period (from November 2006 through April 2007). Months included in the 2006–2007 influenza season were identified retrospectively from Minnesota Department of Health surveillance data. Vaccine effectiveness for reducing the rate of ILI, ILI-associated health care use, the number of days of illness, work loss, and reduced on-the-job productivity during the influenza season were assessed using multivariable regression models after controlling for important confounders.

Results.Four hundred ninety-seven persons were included in the study, 85 (17.1%) of whom experienced an ILI. Among unvaccinated participants, ILI was responsible for 45% of all days of illness during the influenza season, 39% of all illness-related work days lost, and 49% of all days with illness-related reduced on-the-job productivity. In the multivariable regression analyses, vaccination was associated with a significant reduction in the rate of ILI (adjusted odds ratio, 0.48; 95% confidence interval, 0.27–0.86) and fewer days of illness, absenteeism, and impaired on-the-job performance.

Conclusion.ILIs were common among our study participants, accounting for a large portion of illness, work loss, and impaired work performance during the influenza season. Vaccination was associated with substantial health and productivity benefits. Vaccine delivery should be improved for this high-priority group.

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New research on thimerosal-containing vaccines.

January 30, 2009

Source: NHS Immunisation Information

For full text link here

Year of publication: 2009

Publication Type: News Story

In a nutshell: Thimerosal, a mercury compound used as a preservative in vaccines administered during infancy, has been suspected to affect neuropsychological development. We compared the neuropsychological performance, 10 years after vaccination, of 2 groups of children exposed randomly to different amounts of thimerosal through immunization . . .

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Childhood Immunisation via SMS in Southwark PCT – eHealthNews.EU (press release)

January 30, 2009

Source: eHealthNews.eu

For full text link here

Year of publication: 2009

Publication Type: News Story

In a nutshell: GP surgeries in Southwark Primary Care Trust (PCT) have been using iPLATO’s text messaging solution to invite patients for their MMR jab and to alert parents of the recent measles outbreaks in local schools within the Borough. Southwark PCT decided to partner with mobile health promotion specialists iPLATO in response to an increase in the number of measles cases reported in Southwark over the last few months.

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Acceleration of the HPV catch-up campaign

January 30, 2009

Source: NHS Immunisation Information

For full text link here

Year of publication: 2009

Publication Type: News Story

In a nutshell: Further guidance from the Director of Immunisation on the HPV accelerated catch-up campaign that was announced on 22 December 2008.

Letter from the Department of Health, 30 January 2009.

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Shingles vaccine comes step nearer – Pulse

January 30, 2009

Source: Pulse

For full text link here

Year of publication: 2009

Publication Type: News Story

In a nutshell: Introduction of a vaccination programme against shingles in older people would be cost-effective, concludes a study to be submitted to a Government advisory committee.

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Effectiveness of Maternal Influenza Immunization

January 29, 2009

Source: NEJM Volume 359:1555-1564

For full text link here

Year of publication: 2009

Publication Type:  Journal Article

Length of Publication: 10 pages

In a nutshell:  Background Young infants and pregnant women are at increased risk for serious consequences of influenza infection. Inactivated influenza vaccine is recommended for pregnant women but is not licensed for infants younger than 6 months of age. We assessed the clinical effectiveness of inactivated influenza vaccine administered during pregnancy in Bangladesh.

Methods In this randomized study, we assigned 340 mothers to receive either inactivated influenza vaccine (influenza-vaccine group) or the 23-valent pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine (control group). Mothers were interviewed weekly to assess illnesses until 24 weeks after birth. Subjects with febrile respiratory illness were assessed clinically, and ill infants were tested for influenza antigens. We estimated the incidence of illness, incidence rate ratios, and vaccine effectiveness.

Results Mothers and infants were observed from August 2004 through December 2005. Among infants of mothers who received influenza vaccine, there were fewer cases of laboratory-confirmed influenza than among infants in the control group (6 cases and 16 cases, respectively), with a vaccine effectiveness of 63% (95% confidence interval [CI], 5 to 85). Respiratory illness with fever occurred in 110 infants in the influenza-vaccine group and 153 infants in the control group, with a vaccine effectiveness of 29% (95% CI, 7 to 46). Among the mothers, there was a reduction in the rate of respiratory illness with fever of 36% (95% CI, 4 to 57).

Conclusions Inactivated influenza vaccine reduced proven influenza illness by 63% in infants up to 6 months of age and averted approximately a third of all febrile respiratory illnesses in mothers and young infants. Maternal influenza immunization is a strategy with substantial benefits for both mothers and infants.

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Vaccination induced immunity to the hepatitis B virus among high-risk groups in Glasgow 1993-2001 evaluating the effectiveness of the United Kingdoms selective immunisation policy.

January 29, 2009

Source: Scott Med J. 2008 Nov;53(4):13-7.

For abstract link here

Year of publication: 2009

Publication Type: Qualitative Research

Length of Publication: 5 pages

In a nutshell: BACKGROUND AND AIMS: The United Kingdom has adopted a selective approach to the control of hepatitis B (HBV), vaccinating those at increased risk of infection through lifestyle, occupation or other factors such as close contact with a case or carrier. This paper sought to assess the effectiveness of the targeted HBV vaccination programme, by determining the level of immunity and exposure to HBV infection among three high risk groups (injecting drug users (IDUs), men who have sex with men (MSM) and heterosexuals attending genitourinary medicine clinics) at three time points between 1993-2001 in Glasgow, Scotland. METHODS: Residual sera from i) IDUs having a named HIV test and ii) MSM and heterosexual men and women attending GUM clinics and undergoing routine syphilis serology testing, were tested anonymously for HBV infection. RESULTS: The overall prevalence of HBV infection remained at a low level in all three risk groups. IDUs continue to be the group at greatest risk of infection. DISCUSSION: Despite the implementation of new initiatives targeting high-risk groups, vaccination levels remain low in the populations studied.

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