The Flu and School Absenteeism
March 6, 2018
If it’s fall, it’s influenza season-and that means flu shots. A recent report from the Arkansas Department of Health documented how important flu shots are for students. The department coordinates over 800 school-based flu immunization clinics. They looked at the effects of these clinics on school attendance for the flu season 2012-2013.
The analysis found that for each 1% increase in the vaccination rate, the absenteeism rate declined by an average of 0.027%. The bigger the school, the greater the effect. The decline may seem small, but for one of the larger schools, vaccinations prevented 163 student absentee days during the 12-week influenza season. When a child gets the flu he may miss as much as a week or two of school.
Journal of School Health, 04/16