Author: Arthur Reingold
Academic Year: 2014-17
Description: Shoo the Flu provided students in elementary schools in the Oakland Unified School District (OUSD) with free influenza vaccinations for three years starting in 2014. This is a diverse, urban setting. This report summarizes the interim findings of an evaluation of Shoo the Flu. It reports interim results for vaccine coverage in the first three years of the program (2014-15; 2015-16; 2016-17) and impacts on absence rates during the first two years (2014-15 and 2015-16).
The program primarily delivered the live attenuated influenza vaccine in 2014-15 (Year 1) and 2015-16 (Year 2); however, in the middle of 2016 it was determined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that there were problems with the vaccine leading to low effectiveness in those two years. In addition, in Year 1 there was a poor match between the influenza viruses in the vaccine and the viruses circulating during flu season, affecting all formulations of the vaccine. As a result, we did not expect the program to impact health or absenteeism in Years 1 and 2. In 2016-17 (Year 3), the program delivered the inactivated influenza vaccine, which had higher effectiveness. Unlike the live attenuated vaccine, which was delivered intranasally, the inactivated vaccine was delivered as an injection, which may have negatively influenced participation rates in Shoo the Flu.