Introduction: Children aged less than 2 years old and those with chronic diseases have a high risk of complications and hospitalization due to influenza. Despite the broad consensus in the literature on the indication for annual immunization of these patients, less than 30 % of the children with high-risk underlying conditions are immunized each year. The aim of this study is to determine the influenza vaccine coverage in children with high-risk underlying conditions admitted to a university hospital. Patients and methods: We performed a cross-sectional study of patients aged from 6 months to 18 years old with high-risk medical conditions and who had been hospitalized between January and May, 2005 in the Vall d'Hebron University Hospital (Barcelona). Influenza vaccine coverage, factors associated with immunization, and the reasons for nonvaccination were analyzed. Results: Overall vaccine coverage was 23-5 %. The highest vaccination coverage was found in patients with congenital heart disease, chronic respiratory disease, and asthma (43.2 %, 42.9 % and 28.6 %, respectively). The factors most frequently associated with influenza vaccination were the type of underlying disease, having been immunized against influenza in the previous season, having received the pneumococcal vaccine, and age younger than 5 years. The main reason for nonvaccination was the lack of influenza vaccine recommendation by health professionals (95-3 %). Conclusions: Influenza vaccine coverage in children with high-risk conditions is low. Strategies to increase awareness among health professionals on the importance of recommending influenza immunization are required.
- Associated factors