Influenza vaccine is the most effective means to prevent influenza for the high-risk population of child care attendees. This national survey assessed child care center directors’ reports of seasonal influenza vaccine requirements for children and adult caregivers.
This was a 2016 telephone-based survey of child care center directors randomly selected from a national database of licensed United States child care centers and queried about influenza vaccine requirements. Conceptually related items were grouped into 4 indexes: general infection control, use of health consultants, quality of child care, and pandemic influenza preparedness. These indexes, along with other center and director characteristics, were used to predict director-reported influenza vaccine requirements.
Of 518 child care center directors, only 24.5% and 13.1% reported an influenza vaccine requirement for children and adult caregivers, respectively. Center and director characteristics and the indexes were not associated with a director-reported influenza vaccine requirement. After adjusting for covariates, only having a state influenza vaccine law for children and an adult influenza vaccine requirement predicted having a child influenza vaccine requirement. Only having a child influenza vaccine requirement predicted having an adult vaccine requirement.
Director-reported influenza vaccine requirements for children and adult caregivers were influenced primarily by state influenza vaccine laws. Given the high risk of children in child care and low director-reported influenza vaccine requirements, more states should pass laws requiring influenza vaccine for children and adult caregivers at child care programs.