Background: In the US, school-located influenza vaccination (SLIV) programs have increased significantly as a result of expanding recommendations for annual vaccination and in response to pandemic influenza. In June 2010, the Office of Inspector General (OIG) issued a publicly available report on 38 elementary school H1N1 SLIV programs conducted in Nov/Dec 2009 in 6 localities (AZ, MD, MN, MO, NY, and VA). To the best of our knowledge, this report is the only prospective, quantitative assessment of multiple concurrent, geographically diverse US SLIV programs.
Objectives: To analyze the OIG data to identify factors associated with higher vaccination rates.
Methods: Data were extracted from the OIG report for each school, including locality, date, timing (during or after school hours), consent process, and numbers of first doses administered, students enrolled, and staff. Associations between these factors and school vaccination rate were examined.
Results: The number of first doses ranged from 4 to 67 per 100 students. Program characteristics were generally similar within each locality. Programs in early November (n=8) administered more first doses than later programs (n=30; mean, 45.8 vs 21.2 per 100 students; P=0.001). Among later programs, programs conducted during school hours with consent forms sent to parents in advance (n=24) administered more first doses than programs conducted after school hours with only on-site consenting (n=6; mean, 23.6 vs 16.3 per 100 students, respectively; P=0.05).
Conclusions: In this analysis of 38 elementary school H1N1 SLIV programs, as expected, programs conducted near the peak of H1N1 activity achieved higher vaccination rates. Among later programs, outcomes suggest that SLIV programs may be able to achieve higher vaccination rates if conducted during school hours with parental consent obtained in advance; programs after school hours with on-site consenting may be less successful.