Few viruses have acquired over decades such notoriety as influenza and such interesting sobriquets as "Lady Influenza," "The Last of the Great Plagues," "The Spanish Flu," and "Blitz Katarrh." Each year, sages convene to predict the Lady's itinerary and wardrobe, her antigenic cloak for the next season's debut and to thus pick the comparable components for the vaccine. Each fall, reminders and recommendations for immunization are issued, and sentinels across the country pronounce her pace to physicians, public, and press.
Despite this annual concern and cost, the vaccine against influenza is poorly used. Less than 20% of those recommended for yearly immunization receive the vaccine, and in children the estimates are as low as 1% to 7%. Influenza vaccine, thus, has the dubious distinction of being associated with the lowest compliance rate of any recommended vaccine in pediatrics.
- Copyright © 1987 by the American Academy of Pediatrics