Vaccinated Kids Protect Whole Family

This study could even help shape vaccination priority policies in case of a pandemic influenza.

"Kids might be vaccinated first," Poland said.

School-Based Flu Vaccinations for Everyone?

Because vaccinating kids appears to help protect the whole family, a flu vaccine sounds like the thing to do. But how hard is it to have your child vaccinated by the pediatrician?

"It will be very hard for private practitioners to vaccinate all the children in the fall," King said.

"School-based flu shots will become a public health tool that we can use to vaccinate large numbers of children. In reality, this will help parents not miss any workdays to get their kids vaccinated," King said.

Given the many advantages of vaccinating kids, experts say that school-based flu vaccination deserves nationwide consideration.

In fact, a number of school districts in California, Florida, Philadelphia and Tennessee have already adopted school-based vaccination program for kids.

The momentum is "increasing annually for a universal influenza virus vaccine recommendation for everyone," Katz said.

"Public health officials and physicians should consider continuing to broaden flu vaccine recommendations. We should consider whether we as a country should move to universal flu vaccination of all schoolchildren," Jacobson said.

School-based vaccination "represents sound, cost-effective public health practice designed to reduce illness, reduce hospitalization, and save lives in the community," said Dr. John Modlin, chair of the department of pediatrics at Dartmouth Medical School in Lebanon, N.H.

For additional information on the Influenza Vaccine check out www.uptodate.com

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