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Seasonal influenza vaccine coverage among high-risk populations in Thailand, 2010–2012
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    The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practice of Thailand prioritizes seasonal influenza vaccinations for populations who are at highest risk for serious complications (pregnant women, children 6 months–2 years, persons ≥65 years, persons with chronic diseases, obese persons), and health-care personnel and poultry cullers. The Thailand government purchases seasonal influenza vaccine for these groups. We assessed vaccination coverage among high-risk groups in Thailand from 2010 to 2012.


    National records on persons who received publicly purchased vaccines from 2010 to 2012 were analyzed by high-risk category. Denominator data from multiple sources were compared to calculate coverage. Vaccine coverage was defined as the proportion of individuals in each category who received the vaccine. Vaccine wastage was defined as the proportion of publicly purchased vaccines that were not used.


    From 2010 to 2012, 8.18 million influenza vaccines were publicly purchased (range, 2.37–3.29 million doses/year), and vaccine purchases increased 39% over these years. Vaccine wastage was 9.5%. Approximately 5.7 million (77%) vaccine doses were administered to persons ≥65 years and persons with chronic diseases, 1.4 million (19%) to healthcare personnel/poultry cullers, 82,570 (1.1%) to children 6 months–2 years, 78,885 (1.1%) to obese persons, 26,481 (0.4%) to mentally disabled persons, and 17,787 (0.2%) to pregnant women. Between 2010 and 2012, coverage increased among persons with chronic diseases (8.6% versus 14%; p < 0.01) and persons ≥65 years (12%, versus 20%; p < 0.01); however, coverage decreased for mentally disabled persons (6.1% versus 4.9%; p < 0.01), children 6 months–2 years (2.3% versus 0.9%; p < 0.01), pregnant women (1.1% versus 0.9%; p < 0.01), and obese persons (0.2% versus 0.1%; p < 0.01).


    From 2010 to 2012, the availability of publicly purchased vaccines increased. While coverage remained low for all target groups, coverage was highest among persons ≥65 years and persons with chronic diseases. Annual coverage assessments are necessary to promote higher coverage among high-risk groups in Thailand.

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