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Assessing Flu Vaccine Effectiveness in Priority and High-Risk Populations


Highlights

  • Influenza is a periodic and potentially fatal illness, so it is vital to understand the effectiveness of vaccines
  • Abt works with the CDC to understand vaccine effectiveness with high-risk and priority populations
  • Our findings help in education and outreach to provide greater coverage
The Challenge

Influenza — the flu — is a periodic and potentially fatal illness, so it is vital to understand the effectiveness of vaccines. Abt Associates works with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on vaccine effectiveness with high-risk and priority populations: children, pregnant women and healthcare workers.

The Approach

We partnered with Kaiser Permanente on the Pregnancy and Influenza Project. We estimated vaccine efficacy and the extent to which immunizing pregnant women prevents infection among infants in their first six months of life. We have also conducted pre- and post-flu season surveys with pregnant women and healthcare workers.

The Integrated Vaccine Surveillance System that Abt developed and pilot-tested monitors adverse effects and helps ensure vaccine safety.

The Results

Our studies have helped identify factors that may diminish the course and severity of influenza among both vaccinated and unvaccinated people, including children in hospital ICUs.

The CDC uses findings on vaccine coverage and knowledge, attitudes, behaviors, and beliefs to fine-tune their education and outreach campaigns with high-risk and priority groups.