College students report low flu vaccine rate
College football and basketball games may provide more than a way for students to show school spirit – they could help prevent the flu.
According to a new study by researchers at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center, colleges and universities should implement new or improved influenza vaccine strategies, such as giving flu shots at sporting events or during campus-wide, day-long campaigns, to increase the number of their students who get the annual flu vaccine.
In the early online edition of the December issue of the Journal of American College Health, the researchers found that only one in five college students at eight North Carolina universities reported getting a flu shot during the 2009–10 flu season.
"Influenza virus is contagious and is known to circulate through college campuses, enhanced by close living quarters, typical social activities and low vaccine coverage," said Kathy Poehling, M.D., associate professor pediatrics at Wake Forest Baptist and lead author of the study.
"With influenza virus already being detected this November, it is likely to increase in the next one to three months and may overlap with exam periods. Although it is hard to predict the severity of the coming flu season, we usually have more influenza activity after a mild season like last year's."
In this study, believed to be the first multi-university study to assess seasonal flu vaccine coverage, a total of 4,090 college students participated in a confidential, web-based survey in late October and November 2009 regarding whether they had received a flu shot.
Overall, 20 percent of the students reported they had been vaccinated during a year in which significant media attention focused on both seasonal and H1N1 flu. The seasonal vaccine coverage varied across the eight universities from 14 percent to 30 percent, which was considerably less than half of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' 2020 Healthy People goal of 80 percent coverage for healthy persons 18 to 64 years of age.
In addition, the researchers found that students more often reported receiving the vaccine from a private physician or clinic rather than from student health services, even though it was available free of charge.
Poehling said that the findings of this study, as well as results of previous studies conducted by other institutions, suggest that a multifaceted approach is needed to target students who live both on and off campus. University administrators will need to use a variety of communication approaches and be creative in their outreach efforts to encourage more students to get the annual flu vaccine, she said.
Journal reference: Journal of American College Health
Provided by Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center
- No Excuses: Flu vaccination myths addressed Oct 12, 2012 | not rated yet | 0
- Little U.S. flu activity so far, CDC says Oct 04, 2012 | not rated yet | 0
- FDA approves 2006 strain of flu vaccine Aug 03, 2006 | not rated yet | 0
- 1 in 3 Americans already got a flu shot this year Dec 03, 2010 | not rated yet | 0
- Study: Flu shot better than nasal spray in adults Sep 23, 2009 | not rated yet | 0
- Motion perception revisited: High Phi effect challenges established motion perception assumptions Apr 23, 2013 | 3 / 5 (2) | 2
- Anything you can do I can do better: Neuromolecular foundations of the superiority illusion (Update) Apr 02, 2013 | 4.5 / 5 (11) | 5
- The visual system as economist: Neural resource allocation in visual adaptation Mar 30, 2013 | 5 / 5 (2) | 9
- Separate lives: Neuronal and organismal lifespans decoupled Mar 27, 2013 | 4.9 / 5 (8) | 0
- Sizing things up: The evolutionary neurobiology of scale invariance Feb 28, 2013 | 4.8 / 5 (10) | 14
Classical and Quantum Mechanics via Lie algebras
Apr 15, 2011 I'd like to open a discussion thread for version 2 of the draft of my book ''Classical and Quantum Mechanics via Lie algebras'', available online at http://lanl.arxiv.org/abs/0810.1019 , and for the...
- More from Physics Forums - Independent Research
More news stories
Don't doubt it when a woman harried by hot flashes says she's having a hard time remembering things. A new study published online in Menopause, the journal of The North American Menopause Society (NAMS), helps confirm with o ...
Health 24 minutes ago | not rated yet | 0
The Senate has overwhelmingly rejected an amendment allowing states to require labeling of genetically modified foods.
Health 55 minutes ago | not rated yet | 1
(AP)—McDonald's once again faced criticism that it's a purveyor of junk food that markets to children at its annual shareholder meeting Thursday.
Health 1 hour ago | not rated yet | 0
Can economic incentives such as gift cards, T-shirts, and time off from work motivate members of the public to increase their donations of blood?
Health 3 hours ago | not rated yet | 0 |
Family caregivers of older adults with dementia are less stressed and their moods are improved on days when dementia patients receive adult day services (ADS), according to Penn State researchers.
Health 5 hours ago | not rated yet | 0
(Medical Xpress)—Regulating the distribution of power in neurons is done by a system that makes the national electric grid look simple by comparison. Each neuron has several thousand mitochondria confined ...
10 minutes ago | not rated yet | 0 |
Breast cancer characterized as "triple negative" carries a poor prognosis, with limited treatment options. In some cases, chemotherapy doesn't kill the cancer cells the way it's supposed to. New research from Western University ...
22 minutes ago | not rated yet | 0
Mayo Clinic researchers have used next generation genomic analysis to determine that some of the more aggressive prostate cancer tumors have similar genetic origins, which may help in predicting cancer progression. The findings ...
25 minutes ago | not rated yet | 0
(HealthDay)—A shortage of a critical tuberculosis drug has hampered the efforts of health departments across the United States to contain the spread of the highly infectious lung disease, federal officials ...
25 minutes ago | not rated yet | 0
Maintaining a heart healthy lifestyle may also help protect chronic kidney disease patients from developing kidney failure and dying prematurely, according to a study appearing in an upcoming issue of the Journal of the Am ...
45 minutes ago | not rated yet | 0
(AP)—Merck & Co. says it is ending development of an experimental Parkinson's disease drug because the drug wasn't working.
2 minutes ago | not rated yet | 0