For a number of years now, GEIG, the Groupement d'Expertise et d'Information sur la Grippe (Influenza Expertise and Information Group) has conducted surveys to monitor seasonal trivalent vaccine uptake in France in adults. During the H1N1 pandemic in 2009, this survey was conducted to determine vaccination uptake for both pandemic and seasonal vaccines. An additional specific questionnaire was used to collect data on vaccination in children under 15 years of age. This additional study was carried out because pandemic vaccination (PV) was offered to the French population and children were listed as a priority target group by the national health authorities, whereas seasonal trivalent inactivated vaccines (TIV) are not recommended in children in France. Overall, we collected 2443 questionnaires on children, including children with underlying conditions (9.2%) for whom TIV vaccination was recommended. Overall, 17.9% of children (438/2443) received at least one shot of PV, compared to 3.4% (83/2443) who received at least one shot of TIV. PV uptake was statistically different between non at-risk and at-risk children (366/2218 [16.5%] vs. 71/225 [31.8%], p<0.0001). This difference was even more significant in the subgroup of children with severe underlying diseases (42.7%, p<0.0001). This confirms that despite the low overall PV uptake in the French population (9%), the specific recommendation for PV for children increased vaccine uptake in this specific population, suggesting that the disease burden of influenza in children is recognised by both practitioners and parents. The next few years will tell us whether TIV uptake in children increases as a consequence of the specific recommendations made for children during the 2009 pandemic wave, or whether it will return to the very low level of 3.4% observed before the pandemic.
Copyright © 2011. Published by Elsevier Ltd.