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Docs have mixed feelings on school vaccinations

  • Blog Post by: Colleen Stoxen
  • October 2, 2012 - 11:59 AM

Doctors mostly support local efforts to give kids their flu shots and other vaccines at school - but they also have misgivings, a new survey shows.

In particular, they threw more support to school flu shots, versus other vaccinations. They were also worried about how school vaccinations would affect their record-keeping and their bottom line.

The study of Colorado doctors, reported in the journal Pediatrics, looked at doctors' feelings on so-called school-located vaccination - one-day "clinics" where local health officials and school districts offer kids flu shots or other vaccinations. The programs are seen as a potential way to bring more kids up-to-date with government-recommended vaccinations.

Even though only a minority follow the advice to get an annual flu shot - about 43 percent of Americans did during the 2010 flu season - that still translates to more than 100 million people clambering for the flu vaccine within the space of a few months.

"To get all of those people into the doctor's office is impossible," said Dr. Judith Shlay of the Denver Public Health Department, the senior researcher on the new study.

In Denver, a project funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has provided in-school flu shots, as well as vaccinations recommended for older kids and teenagers: the meningococcal meningitis vaccine, the human papilloma virus (HPV) vaccine and the "Tdap" vaccine against tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis (whooping cough).

For the current study, Shlay's team wanted to know how pediatricians and family doctors felt about school vaccinations. Of the 584 doctors who responded to the survey, most supported in-school flu shots.

Read more from Reuters Health.

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