Community Partnership to Promote Influenza Prevention and Academic Success Among Elementary School Students

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Literature provides evidence that school attendance correlates with student academic performance and success. Influenza is a contributing factor to school absences. Primary prevention for influenza includes immunization. School-located influenza vaccine (SLIV) programs provide greater access for students to be immunized. A community partnership between a local public health district, a county board of education, and a public state university was formed to study the relationship between a local SLIV program and school attendance, exploring the possibility that SLIV-immunized students missed fewer days of school, thus promoting not only primary prevention but also program efficacy. A retrospective review of existing data examined the relationship between SLIV participation and absenteeism among students at 8 public elementary schools in Effingham County, Georgia, during three academic years (2010-2013). The study assessed whether there was a difference in average absenteeism among students who participated in the SLIV program versus those who did not. Results indicated there was a significant difference, with SLIV-immunized students having lower average absenteeism than those who did not participate in the program. Implications for practice include the potential for increased herd immunity among students, which may also extend to other parties such as school personnel and family members, and increasing the likelihood of students' academic success due to decreased absenteeism. Overall, the project showcases an example of productive collaboration between community partners to promote public health within the context of a school setting.


American Public Health Association Annual Meeting (APHA)


Boston, MA