Influenza vaccine effective among a cohort of obese children, which is a population that tends to have a longer duration of illness, according to Healio.

“In this analysis of school-aged children, we found that influenza vaccine protected obese and nonobese children against PCR-confirmed influenza,” Michael A. Smit, MD, MSPH, of the division of infectious diseases at Hasbro Children’s Hospital, Rhode Island, and colleagues wrote.

The researchers retrospectively analyzed data from a previously conducted study that contained data related to school-located influenza vaccination programs. Specifically, BMI, vaccination status and laboratory-confirmed influenza data were used to determine the effectiveness of influenza vaccine among 4,260 elementary school children, including 1,191 classified as obese.

Study results showed that unvaccinated obese children were three times more likely to become infected with influenza vs. vaccinated children regardless of BMI (RR = 3; 95% CI, 1.8-4.9). Unvaccinated obese children also missed more school days during influenza season than vaccinated obese children (4.6 vs. 3.2 days per 100 school days; P < .001).

The researchers wrote that obese children with influenza were more likely to have a cough (86.2% vs. 72.4%; P = .03) and missed more school days due to influenza than nonobese children (2.4 vs. 1.9 days; P = .023). Influenza rates, however, were not significantly different between obese and nonobese children.

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