Document Type

Dissertation

Abstract

This paper aims to present an in-depth exploration of immunology, the influenza virus, vaccination, and vaccination’s effectiveness with respect to influenza. It also delves into the possible causes behind the large increase in early childhood deaths during the 2003-2004 influenza season, which was a turning point in terms of influenza incident reporting. Finally, data analysis on the relationship between childhood flu vaccine coverage and childhood outpatient ILI (influenza-like illness) visits by region is presented as a measurement of vaccine effectiveness and identifier of trends. Although this relationship was not statistically significant (alpha=0.05) regionally, this simply points to alternate factors that exist among the relationship between vaccine coverage and outpatient visits in children. The same comparison made over time with national statistics did prove statistically significant (p=0.02), however, other variables are hypothesized to be present in this relationship as well.