(HealthDay News) — Requiring the flu vaccination for child care admission seems to have increased vaccination rates and led to lower hospitalization rates for influenza in young children, according to a report published in the March 7 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

James L. Hadler, MD, from the Yale School of Public Health in New Haven, CT, and colleagues evaluated the impact of Connecticut’s 2010 regulation requiring that all children aged 6–59 months receive at least one dose of influenza vaccine each year to attend a licensed child care program. Data from U.S. and Connecticut surveys and the Emerging Infections Program (EIP) were reviewed and the authors examined influenza-associated hospitalizations during the 2012–13 influenza season.

The researchers found that, after the regulation took effect, vaccination rates among Connecticut children aged 6–59 months increased from 67.8% in the 2009–10 influenza season to 84.1% in the 2012–13 season. Among all 11 EIP surveillance sites, Connecticut had the greatest percentage decrease (12%) in the influenza-associated hospitalization rate among children aged ≤4 years during the 2012–13 influenza season, compared to 2007–08. The ratio of the influenza-associated hospitalization rates among children aged ≤4 years to the overall population rate (0.53) was also lower, compared to all other EIP sites.

“Requiring vaccination for child care admission might have helped to increase vaccination rates in Connecticut and reduced serious morbidity from influenza,” the authors write.

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