Influenza vaccination practices of physicians and caregivers of children with neurologic and neurodevelopmental conditions - United States, 2011-12 influenza season.
Cognitive dysfunction, seizure disorders (epilepsy), and other neurologic disorders are conditions associated with a high risk for complications of influenza virus infection. This risk was observed during the 2009 influenza pandemic; among 336 pediatric deaths, 146 occurred in children with underlying neurologic disorders, most commonly intellectual disability (76%) and epilepsy (51%). Because little is known about influenza-related knowledge and practices among the families and health-care providers of children with neurologic or neurodevelopmental (NND) conditions, CDC worked with Family Voices and the American Academy of Pediatrics to survey parents and physicians during the 2011-12 influenza season to assess these factors. Among 1,005 children with NND conditions, parents reported that 50% of children were vaccinated or had a vaccine appointment scheduled. Vaccination rates were low for children with intellectual disability (52%) and epilepsy (59%). Physician recognition of high-risk conditions was low for intellectual disability (46%) and epilepsy (52%). Efforts to improve physician awareness are essential because physicians are in a key position to educate parents of children with NND conditions about their increased risk for influenza complications and the importance of prevention through vaccination. Further research also is needed to identify barriers to influenza vaccination among families and health-care providers of these children.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC),
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