Is the influenza vaccine effective? Scott & White Healthcare is providing one of only five study sites in the U.S. to research this question for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The influenza virus mutates constantly, and each year vaccines are reformulated to protect against the newest strains of the virus. The challenge is to accurately match each new year’s formula to the new virus strains, giving the best possible protection from immunization programs.
In this five-year cooperative study, the Scott & White team is using the patient population of one portion of the system’s coverage area to evaluate the effectiveness of influenza vaccines. Vaccine effectiveness will be measured against lab-confirmed influenza. Additional objectives for this study are to explore and identify new and innovative strategies for measuring vaccine effectiveness.
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Dr. Gaglani says only patients who are coming in to see their Scott & White physician or provider for medical care in the Belton-Temple, Texas area are being approached to participate. If a patient complains of flu-like symptoms, cough, or feverishness in the last seven days, they may be asked about willingness to participate in the study.
This is a systematic evaluation of the effectiveness of influenza vaccines with the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices’ recommended universal immunization strategy for persons ages 6 months or older.
This CDC-cooperative study will continue through the 2015-2016 flu season.
More information about the study click here.