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Those living in a state with a vaccine mandate during 2020 to 2021 flu season had higher probability of receiving flu shot

Children living in states with a vaccine mandate during the 2020 to 2021 influenza season had a higher predicted probability of receiving an influenza vaccine, according to a study published online Oct. 10 in Pediatrics.

Claire Abraham, M.D., M.P.H., from Harvard Medical School in Boston, and colleagues examined whether a state influenza vaccine mandate and elevated community COVID-19 severity affected a child’s probability of receiving an influenza vaccine during the 2020 to 2021 influenza season. Enrollment and claims data were obtained for 71,333 children aged 6 months to 18 years living in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Maine.

The researchers found that compared with children living in states without a mandate, those living in a state with a vaccine mandate during the 2020 to 2021 influenza season had a higher predicted probability of receiving an influenza vaccine (47.7 versus 21.2 percent for previous nonvaccinators and 78.2 versus 58.2 percent for previous vaccinators); among previous nonvaccinators, the difference was 6.5 percentage points greater. Previously vaccinated children had a lower predicted probability of receiving an influenza vaccine if they lived in a county with the highest versus lowest COVID-19 severity (72.1 versus 77.3 percent).

“Strategies to improve uptake of influenza vaccination may have differential impacts based on previous vaccination acceptance and must account for community factors such as the COVID-19 pandemic,” the authors write.

Abstract/Full Text

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