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Vaccinating Students Can Benefit Entire Community, Study Finds

Vaccinating Students Can Benefit Entire Community, Study Finds

It's flu season, and according to a new study, giving flu shots to students in school will not only protect them, but others too.

"The effect of school-based vaccination was profound, both on the students and on the community," said lead author Cuc Tran, a doctoral student in public health at the University of Florida, in an article on

According to the article, "when half of the children aged 5 to 17 in Alachua County, Fla., received seasonal flu vaccinations through a school-based program, the flu rate in the entire age group fell by 79 percent."

The flu rate among children aged 4 and younger, the study found, "decreased by 89 percent, even though they weren't included in the vaccination program."

"Among all non-school-aged residents in the county, the flu rate declined 60 percent, the researchers found," the article said.

According to the article, the findings "may help communities determine how best to target funding, doses of flu vaccine, and awareness campaigns to protect the greatest number of people from the flu, according to the researchers."

According to the article, the U.S Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said the flu "Flu kills thousands of Americans each year and costs $10.4 billion in hospitalization and outpatient visits each year."

"The researchers said there are a number of reasons to make schoolchildren the focus of flu prevention," the article said. "They tend to get sick longer and are more likely to spread the flu virus and infect others due to their poor hygiene habits and the fact they tend to have contact with more people than most adults."

Dr. Carolyn Bridges, associate director of adult immunizations at the CDC's National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, said that "even the partial protection is worth it because of the number of deaths and number of hospitalizations that can occur from H3N2."

Read the full story and comment below. 

Article by Kassondra Granata, Education World Contributor

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