According to data from the National Immunization Survey, less than half of children aged 6–23 months in the United States are fully vaccinated against influenza. Additional findings are published in Pediatrics.

Infants and young children are recommended to receive 1 or 2 doses of influenza vaccine based on their age and previous vaccination history. Researchers compared complete influenza vaccination coverage of children aged 6–23 months for 10 consecutive influenza seasons from 2002–2012. They stratified the data by race/ethnicity, age group, and number of doses required for full vaccination based on the child’s vaccination history. 

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Full vaccination coverage rose from 4.8% in 2002–2003 to 44.7% in 2011–2012. Across all 10 influenza seasons evaluated, non-Hispanic black children and Hispanic children had lower complete vaccination coverage than non-Hispanic white children. Researchers also noted that full vaccination coverage was higher in children requiring 1 dose vs. those requiring 2 doses. 

Study authors called for more evidence-based strategies to be put in place to increase the amount of children who are fully vaccinated.

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