Finally in the news this week is a look at at study on school age vaccination out of the school of public health at the University of Florida. I’ve talked about vaccines here on the Nursing Show a lot over the years, talking about how nurses need to be proponents of vaccines safety and efficacy.

Herd Immunity and Seasonal Flu

A female doctor giving a vaccinationThis study takes the impact of vaccination even farther to the concept of herd immunity and seasonal flu. In Alachua County, Florida half the children ages five to seventeen in county schools received flu vaccines in the study and half didn’t.

What they found was that flu incidence among those ages fell by nearly eighty percent. That was across the whole population, even those who didn’t get the vaccine. There was also another herd immunity effect. incidence in the county of flu among children four and younger fell by nearly ninety percents and by sixty percent among adults in the county.

School Flu Shots Help Whole Community

This shows that by just giving flu shots in schools, they were able to have a significant effect on the community as a whole. This can easily be translated to increased work productivity and concurrent increased tax revenue because fewer workers and their small children get sick meaning fewer missed days.

The study was published back in December in the journal PLOS ONE. This study is a powerful recommendation not just for more flu vaccine programs and funding but for communities to better target their immunization efforts in and around future flu season and other infectious disease outbreaks. Stay tuned as I’ll continue to follow up on this and other studies like it in the future here on the Nursing Show.

Make sure you follow-up on the links for this news item and all of the other news and additional resource links from this week’s episode – Health Technology Serving Minority Communities and Episode 328.

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