Abstract: Prevention of Influenza in Infants by Immunization of Their Contacts in the Household (43rd National Immunization Conference (NIC))

24 Prevention of Influenza in Infants by Immunization of Their Contacts in the Household

Monday, March 30, 2009: 4:05 PM
Lone Star Ballroom C1
Rowena Dolor
Geeta Swamy
Anne Hellkamp
Norma J. Allred

When compared to other age groups, infants < 6 months are at higher risk for influenza complications. Because there is no currently licensed vaccine for this age cohort, prevention efforts should focus on vaccinating household contacts.

The purpose of this study was to develop and assess a program for administering influenza vaccine to household contacts of newborns delivering at a community hospital.

Between October 2007 and February 2008 inactivated influenza vaccine was offered to new mothers and household contacts of newborns delivered at a Durham Regional Hospital located in NC. Promotional materials included a letter to new mothers, posters, and coupons for free influenza vaccine for household contacts. Standing influenza vaccine orders were implemented for postpartum women and a conveniently located vaccination clinic was established for household contacts. Vaccine reminders were mailed postpartum. Influenza vaccine coverage rates of household contacts were assessed using a face-to- face maternal interview with a follow-up telephone interview at 6 to 8 weeks.

During the study period, 890 women delivered 904 newborns. Of 364 women approached, 238 (65.4%) were interviewed and 194 (81.5%) had follow-up interviews. Vaccination rates for household contacts during the influenza season were as follows: mothers (69.6%), fathers (52.9%), siblings (52.0%), other relatives (31.6%) and non-relatives (25.0%). Among new mothers, 40.9% received vaccine during pregnancy. Of those not vaccinated before delivery, 45.0% were vaccinated in the hospital and 3.6% were vaccinated within 6 to 8 weeks after hospital discharge. Among new fathers, 22.3% received vaccine prior to the baby's birth and among those not vaccinated, 33.1% received vaccine during the baby's hospital stay and 6.2% received vaccine after hospital discharge.

A hospital-based influenza vaccination program is an effective method of increasing immunization rates of household contacts of newborns, thereby protecting this vulnerable cohort from influenza exposure.
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