Introduction: children with chronic medical conditions (CMC) are at high-risk of suffering from serious complications due to influenza. Although routine annual influenza immunization with trivalent inactivated vaccine is recommended in these children, few of them fulfil the recommendation. The aim of our study is to assess the rate of influenza vaccine coverage among children with CMC in a Primary Care Setting in a metropolitan area in Spain.
Patients and methods: in the 2007-2008 influenza season, the computerized database of all children aged 0-14 years in a Primary Care Setting was checked. Over 3,479 children, 232 were indentified as high-risk. The administration of influenza vaccine in these children that year was assessed checking every computerized medical record.
Results: the global influenza vaccine coverage among children with CMC was 43.1%. Full immunization was received in 98% of them. Depending on the underlying medical condition, the coverage was 44% in children with Asthma, 35% in Congenital Heart Diseases and 42.8% in Diabetes Mellitus. Children with CMC living in immigrant families had lower rate of influenza vaccination than those in Spanish families, 35.6% versus 45.7%.
Conclusions: the rate of vaccine coverage among children with CMC in our setting is higher than the one reported in medical reviews (range: 10-23%). Despite these good results, to increase the rates of vaccination among children with CMC is needed. Health care professionals should design strategies to achieve a 75% rate of influenza vaccine coverage in high-risk children as a much better goal.
Keywords: Influenza vaccines. Immunization programs. Infant. Child. Adolescent.