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Am Fam Physician. 2006;74(2):336

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has released a report on influenza vaccination coverage of children younger than two years during the 2003 to 2004 influenza season. The report appeared in the February 3, 2006, issue of Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report and is available athttp://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm5504a3.htm.

In 2004, the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices recommended that children six to 23 months of age and household members and caregivers in contact with children younger than two years receive annual influenza vaccination. The data in the CDC report were based on results of the 2004 National Immunization Survey, which tracked vaccination coverage among noninstitutionalized children 19 to 35 months of age. Children were considered fully vaccinated if they received no influenza vaccination before September 1, 2003, and then received two vaccinations from September 1 through the interview date or January 31, 2004. They also were considered fully vaccinated if they had one or more vaccinations before September 1 and then received one or more vaccinations from September through December 2003.

Among the survey respondents, 17.5 percent of children (95% confidence interval [CI], 16.5 to 18.7) received one or more doses of influenza vaccine, and 8.4 percent were fully vaccinated. Although the 2003 to 2004 vaccination rates were low, they increased from the 2002 to 2003 season, during which 7.4 percent of children (95% CI, 6.7 to 8.1) received one or more doses of influenza vaccine and 4.4 percent (95% CI, 3.9 to 4.9) were fully vaccinated.

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