Experts weigh advisability of school-based flu shots

first_imgNov 19, 2008 (CIDRAP News) – Earlier this year the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) broadened its flu vaccine recommendation to include all school-age children, prompting some health officials to eye school-based immunization programs as an efficient way to improve vaccination rates in young people.Federal health officials have said children bear a significant burden of seasonal flu and that reducing flu transmission among children may limit virus spread among household contacts and in the community. Also, they point out that vaccinating school-age children could reduce the need for medical care and curb school absenteeism.The new recommendation, which includes children from ages 5 through 18 years, adds 30 million children to the CDC’s target group, poses a big challenge for the healthcare system because the vaccine season is limited and many young people don’t regularly visit doctor’s offices, where many people typically get their yearly flu shots. Some experts question whether school-based flu vaccination programs lower healthcare costs. Though research findings on the costs and benefits have been mixed, a multistate trial earlier this year that factored in household protection benefits suggested that such programs were cost-effective.A snapshot of school-based effortsOver the past few years, a variety of schools and districts have hosted immunization programs—some as pilot projects and some working toward more permanent programs.Last year Hawaii became the first state in the nation to offer free flu vaccines to its children in elementary and middle schools, vaccinating 60,000 students and 9,000 faculty and staff at 340 public and private schools, according to an Aug 6 Hawaii Department of Health press release. That state’s “Stop Flu at School” program includes a long list of partners, including state agencies, professional groups, university departments, healthcare organizations, and vaccine companies.In early November, the East Baton Rouge (Louisiana) Parish school district launched its first influenza vaccine program, a state pilot program that hopes to vaccinate close to 40% of the student population, according to a Nov 6 statement from the district. Vaccines will be administered by a contractor that provides medical care at the schools as well as volunteers from Southeastern Louisiana University’s school of nursing. The cost of immunizations for qualifying students is covered through the CDC’s Vaccines for Children (VFC) program, with the remainder covered by a donation from a local hospital foundation.In Aurora, Colo., hospitals in the Anschutz Medical Campus’ Adopt-a-School program recently offered free flu shots to students and staff at two local elementary schools, according to a Nov 13 report from the Aurora Sentinel.One district’s experienceIn 2005, MedImmune, maker of FluMist, approached more than a dozen US sites to test the feasibility of school-based immunizations, said John Lott, director of nursing at the Knox County (Tennessee) Department of Health, who supervises the area’s school immunization programs. Local schools are keenly aware of how severely flu can impact schools, he said. In 2004, the area experienced school closures due to the illness.In 2005 Knox County’s pilot program included 81 public schools with a goal of immunizing 54,000 children over a 4-week period. “We were their (MedImmune’s) largest project, and our vaccination rate was 46%,” he said, adding that the company challenged the county to exceed that number in 2006.Last year, the county continued the school-based immunizations on its own by cobbling together some vaccine from the VFC program, funding for staffing and vaccine purchase from the county, and assistance from school nurses. However, the vaccination rates were difficult to sustain because of the extra burden on schools and their nurses. “It’s a challenge trying to find a sustainable model,” he said.Despite the difficulties, Lott says he has seen other benefits for schools beyond just improved vaccination rates. Over the past 4 years, Knox County hasn’t had to close any of its schools, even though surrounding areas have. Financial support for schools is often based on daily attendance, he said, so healthy students can have bottom-line benefits for their schools, he said.Lott said he and his colleagues have learned useful lessons from their experiences with school-based immunization. For example, he said it’s easier to exceed 60% vaccination rates in K-5 elementary schools because the paperwork channels for items such as vaccine consent forms are more reliable with this age-group. Rates drop to about 45% in middle schools, then fall off to about 25% to 30% in high schools. With limited resources for school-based vaccination drives, healthcare officials have to make tough decisions about what age-groups to target.Realistic expectations for schoolsDiane Peterson, an editor for the National Influenza Vaccine Summit’s Web site and associate director for immunization projects at the Immunization Action Coalition, based in St Paul, said it’s a tall order to expect schools to help host immunization clinics during school hours. “From my experience, schools are just stretched beyond compare with staffing and tight budgets,” she said.Schools are also feeling pressured to pass No Child Left Behind testing requirements, so many of them aren’t too eager to take time away from learning activities, Peterson said.Strategizing how to meet the CDC’s flu vaccine recommendation for school-age kids is difficult, she said. “The best way would be to make it part of a mandate, but schools are up to their ears with mandates.”One option might be to have schools serve more simply as convenient sites for flu shot clinics, Peterson said, adding that school nurses have suggested that public health officials hold after-school immunization clinics at schools. “Then it would be a family program that could vaccinate parents, too. Schools like that,” she said. “We have to think of different models for getting this done.”Peterson said she was part of a National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO) group that recently met to discuss options relating to school-based immunization programs. She said NACCHO hopes to develop some model programs to help local groups navigate the issues and implement immunization programs for school-age children.See also:Mar 5 CIDRAP News story “Flu immunizations for children will pose big challenge”Jan 31 CIDRAP News story “Study: school-based immunizations save money”Aug 6 Hawaii Department of Health press releaselast_img read more

Liverpool win 2019/2020 Premier League

first_imgLiverpool have won the 2019/2020 Premier League title after Chelsea beat Manchester City 2-1 at Stamford Bridge on Thursday night.The result means Jurgen Klopp’s team are now mathematically beyond reach.This is the Reds first title in 30 years, and they are still on course to break the record for the overall points haul.Liverpool have amassed 86 points so far with 7 games still left to play.Liverpool missed out on the title by just a point last season despite picking up a club record 97 points.last_img read more

FCPPL review: AshGold draw Chelsea to secure vital point in title push

first_imgAshGold snatched a vital draw in their push for the 2014/15 FCPPL title away at Berekum Chelsea on Saturday. Striker Kofi Owusu who scored Chelsea’s first goal and took his tally to 15, was voted man-of-the-match and was also presented the award for the FCPPL’s Player of the month for July. Berekum Chelsea: John Moosie – Kelvin Boateng, Justice Anane, Paul Aidoo, Richard Adjei, Nicholas Opoku, Kingsley Effah, Bennett Ofori, Stephen Baffour Asare, Asiwome Fumador/Latif Salifu, Kofi Owusu/Awudu Moro Coach Bashir Hayford, going for the broke threw in more forwards with Didier Kore and Bashiru Osman but it was Emmanuel Osei who will emerge the hero for his side. The striker skilfully weaved past the Chelsea backline only to be hacked down in the penalty area by defender Nicholas Opoku. But diminutive forward Kofi Owusu equalized for Chelsea with a nice header from Justice Anane’s cross on 35 minutes. Chelsea gathered momentum and probed the AshGold defence but were denied by goalkeeper Robert Dabuo who pulled three good saves towards half time. A clear penalty offence and referee Desmond Abbey wasted no time in pointing to the penalty spot after his whistle. Osei elected himself and planted the ball in the net – the goal which ensured the Miners will go home with a point from the Golden City Park. The league leaders drew first blood as early as the 8th minute of the match day 28 opening fixture via a penalty converted by striker Yakubu Mohammed. It was his eleventh goal of the campaign. Latif Salifu came on as a second half substitute and his impact was rightly felt. In the 66th minute, the experienced forward found himself at the right place and capitalized on a mis-communication between Joshua Tijani and goalkeeper Robert Dabuo to give Chelsea a 2-1 lead. Line-ups With 7 other match day 28 fixtures set for Sunday, AshGold are now on 49 points, four better than second placed Aduana who visit Heart of Lions at the Kpando Park. AshGold: Robert Dabuo – Augustine Sefa, Tijani Joshua, Lawrence Lartey, Desmond Agberkpornu – Eric Opoku, Joseph Ato Bissah, Emmanuel Baffour/Alhaji Sani, Yakubu Mohammed/Didier Kore, Emmanuel Osei, Osei Baffour/Bashiru OsmanRelated…CLICK TO READ: Why Hearts of Lions will be this year’s kingmakersCLICK TO READ: This year’s league most competitive – SannieCLICK TO READ: Matchday 28 game-by-game preview –Follow Joy Sports on Twitter: @Joy997FM. Our hashtag is #JoySportslast_img read more

Lakers don’t have enough to match Spurs’ depth in 134-94 loss

first_img“We want to be aggressive, but there is a fine line between being aggressive and doing dumb things,” Walton said. “Sometimes when we were being aggressive, we were also doing dumb things.”Lakers forward Julius Randle (8 for 13) initially kept the game competitive with 22 points, six rebounds and five assists, which he attributed to his aggressiveness. But then he pointed blame on himself for the Spurs outrebounding the Lakers 49-26.“We all weren’t ready to play,” Randle said. “They came out and were more aggressive.”Still, Popovich said Walton “has done a great job in establishing a culture” before raving about his basketball intelligence as an 11-year NBA role player.“When you get a compliment from someone like that, you take it. But it doesn’t make us better,” Walton said. “We still have to come and grind, work and know we have a long journey ahead.”The Lakers’ latest performance provided a good reminder of that as San Antonio’s depth and experience seemed light years ahead. “We gave up too quickly as if this is going to be hard for us,” Walton said. “That is not okay. That is not the way we want to play as a team.”After the Lakers whittled an 18-point deficit to as few as four, the Spurs exposed cracks in the Lakers’ youthful foundation by exerting their dominance.Lakers guard D’Angelo Russell fouled Leonard on a buzzer-beating 3-point attempt, which resulted in three made foul shots with three-tenths of a second left before halftime. The Lakers missed 10 of their first 11 shots, while the Spurs scored 36 third-quarter points.“At point guard, everything starts with me,” said Russell, who had only nine points on 4-of-13 shooting and three assists. “With not getting off to a great start, that started with me. Us not getting stops early started with me. So that’s something I need to get better at.”Walton also would like the Lakers to get better at their fouling. Though he has seen relative improvement since training camp, the Lakers collected 25 fouls as the Spurs went 26-of-29 from the free-throw line. SAN ANTONIO >> The nightmares have stopped turning into reality for Spurs coach Gregg Popovich, who has finally coached against the Lakers without worrying about how Kobe Bryant would ruin his day.Longtime Spurs great Tim Duncan can no longer torment the Lakers, but the Spurs still have plenty that worry the Lakers. In their 134-94 loss to San Antonio on Thursday at AT&T Center, the Lakers received another reminder of their learning curve and how the Spurs maintain continuity through any changes.While the Lakers (15-28) unsuccessfully clawed back from a poor start with their young roster, San Antonio (31-8) posted a season-high on points by relying on the traits that have made them arguably the league’s most consistent franchise through five NBA titles and 19 consecutive playoffs.San Antonio’s Kawhi Leonard, the latest face of the franchise, had 31 points on 10-of-13 shooting, Former Lakers center Pau Gasol added 22 points and nine rebounds while going 9 for 9 from the field. Spurs guard Tony Parker added an efficient 13 points and six assists while shooting 6 for 10.center_img Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorlast_img read more