Targeted vaccination in healthy school children - Can primary school vaccination alone control influenza?

Thorrington, D; Jit, M; Eames, K; (2015) Targeted vaccination in healthy school children - Can primary school vaccination alone control influenza? Vaccine. ISSN 0264-410X DOI:

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The UK commenced an extension to the seasonal influenza vaccination policy in autumn 2014 that will eventually see all healthy children between the ages of 2-16 years offered annual influenza vaccination. Models suggest that the new policy will be both highly effective at reducing the burden of influenza as well as cost-effective. We explore whether targeting vaccination at either primary or secondary schools would be more effective and/or cost-effective than the current strategy. An age-structured deterministic transmission dynamic SEIR-type mathematical model was used to simulate a national influenza outbreak in England. Costs including GP consultations, hospitalisations due to influenza and vaccinations were compared to potential gains in quality-adjusted life years achieved through vaccinating healthy children. Costs and benefits of the new JCVI vaccination policy were estimated over a single season, and compared to the hypothesised new policies of targeted and heterogeneous vaccination. All potential vaccination policies were highly cost-effective. Influenza transmission can be eliminated for a particular season by vaccinating both primary and secondary school children, but not by vaccinating only one group. The most cost-effective policy overall is heterogeneous vaccination coverage with 48% uptake in primary schools and 34% in secondary schools. The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation can consider a modification to their policy of offering seasonal influenza vaccinations to all healthy children of ages 2-16 years.

Item Type: Article
Faculty and Department: Faculty of Epidemiology and Population Health > Dept of Infectious Disease Epidemiology
Research Centre: Vaccine Centre
PubMed ID: 26314627
Web of Science ID: 362306200011


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