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Disclaimer: CME certification for these activities has expired. All information is pertinent to the timeframe in which it was released.


Meeting the Challenges of Childhood Influenza Vaccination: A Public Health Perspective


GOAL
To provide public health practitioners with up-to-date information on the vaccination of influenza in children.

TARGET AUDIENCE
This activity is designed for public health practitioners. No prerequisites required.

LEARNING OBJECTIVES
After reading this issue, participants should be able to:
  • Evaluate epidemiology and impact of childhood influenza.
  • Recognize methods for improving childhood vaccination rate.
  • Examine current and emerging vaccination options.
  • Summarize strategies for public health practitioners to communicate the urgency of early vaccination to physicians and parents.
SPONSORSHIP STATEMENT
Presented by The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine takes responsibility for the content, quality, and scientific integrity of this activity.

The estimated time to complete this activity: 1 hour.

DISCLAIMER STATEMENT
The opinions and recommendations expressed by faculty and other experts whose input is included in this program are their own. This enduring material is produced for educational purposes only. Use of Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine name implies review of educational format, design, and approach. Please review the complete prescribing information of specific drugs or combinations of drugs, including indications, contraindications, warnings, and adverse effects, before administering pharmacologic therapy to patients.

This program is supported by an educational grant from MedImmune.
Full Disclosure Policy Affecting CME Activities
As a provider accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME), it is the policy of the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine to require the disclosure of the existence of any significant financial interest or any other relationship a faculty member or a provider has with the manufacturer(s) of any commercial product(s) discussed in an educational presentation.  The presenting faculty reported the following:

PROGRAM DIRECTOR
Paul G. Auwaerter, MD, MBA
Clinical Director, Division of Infectious Diseases
Associate Professor of Medicine
Divisions of Infectious Diseases and General Internal Medicine
Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
Baltimore, Maryland
Dr Auwaerter reports serving as a consultant for Genzyme, Novartis, Pfizer Inc, and Schering-Plough; being a stock shareholder of Johnson & Johnson; and serving on the speakers' bureau for Schering-Plough.

PARTICIPATING FACULTY
Claire Hannan, MPH
Executive Director
Association of Immunization Managers
Rockville, Maryland
Dr Hannan reports having no financial or advisory relationships with corporate organizations related to this activity.

James Ransom, MPH
Senior Analyst
National Association of County & City Health Officials
Washington, DC
Dr Ransom reports having no financial or advisory relationships with corporate organizations related to this activity.
Notice: All faculty have indicated that they have not referenced unlabeled/unapproved uses of drugs or devices.

Johns Hopkins Advanced Studies in Medicine provides disclosure information from contributing authors, lead presenters, and participating faculty. Johns Hopkins Advanced Studies in Medicine does not provide disclosure information from authors of abstracts and poster presentations. The reader shall be advised that these contributors may or may not maintain financial relationships with pharmaceutical companies.Meeting the Challenges of Childhood Influenza Vaccination: A Public Health Perspective
Paul G. Auwaerter, MD, MBA*

As evidenced by the heightened public concern about the potential for a pandemic related to avian strains, influenza continues to be foremost in the minds of the general public, healthcare providers, and public health officials and practitioners. Despite this, seasonal influenza immunization rates lag behind every other vaccine for a preventable disease, and influenza continues to cause significant morbidity and mortality annually in the United States. Each year, influenza is estimated to be responsible for up to 60 million infections,1 25 million physician visits, an average of 226 000 hospitalizations, and up to 40 000 deaths from all causes associated with influenza infection (some estimates are even higher).1-3 Preschool and school-aged children have the highest infection rates (up to 40% and 50%, respectively) and, as such, are important transmitters of disease to those more susceptible to its complications, such as the very young, the elderly, and the chronically ill.4 Therefore, one approach to reduce the burden of influenza lies with improving vaccination rates in children. However, challenges to improving immunization rates exist on many levels, ranging from public misconceptions and logistical barriers for parents and caregivers to operational barriers, such as funding, supply, and distribution of vaccines that must be administered annually. These articles will focus on the impact that childhood influenza vaccination can have on community-wide influenza epidemiology, current and emerging vaccination options, and opportunities for public health practitioners to make a difference in this frequently misunderstood and underestimated disease.

REFERENCES

1.    Couch RB. Influenza: prospects for control. Ann Intern Med. 2000;133:992-998.
2.    Thompson WW, Shay DK, Weintraub E, et al. Influenza-associated hospitalizations in the United States. JAMA. 2004;292:1333-1340.
3.    Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, Smith NM, Bresee JS, et al. Prevention and control of influenza: recommendations of the advisory committee on immunization practices (ACIP). MMWR Recomm Rep. 2006;55:1-42.
4.    Glezen WP, Taber LH, Frank AL, et al. Influenza virus infections in infants. Pediatr Infect Dis J. 1997;16:1065-1068.

*Clinical Director, Division of Infectious Diseases, Associate Professor of Medicine, Divisions of Infectious Diseases and General Internal Medicine, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland.
Address correspondence to: Paul G. Auwaerter, MD, MBA, Clinical Director, Division of Infectious Diseases, Associate Professor of Medicine, Divisions of Infectious Diseases and General Internal Medicine, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, 1830 East Monument Street, #449, Baltimore, MD 21205. E-mail: pauwaer@jhmi.edu.

The content in this monograph was developed with the assistance of a medical writer. Each author had final approval of his article and all its contents.



Johns Hopkins Advanced Studies in Medicine (ISSN-1558-0334), is published by Galen Publishing, LLC, d/b/a ASiM, PO Box 340, Somerville, NJ 08876. (908) 253-9001. Copyright ©2012 by Galen Publishing. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, without first obtaining permission from the publisher. ASiM is a registered trademark of The Healthcare Media Group, LLC.