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Maebashi Research Group for the Study of Influenza Epidemics / January 1987

Influenza Epidemics in a Non-Vaccinated Area



Since the second dose of the vaccine was discontinued in November 1979, mass influenza vaccinations have not been provided in the schools at Maebashi City. Physicians who were on the frontline of the school health in Maebashi suggested that it would be beneficial for schoolchildren and students to discontinue vaccine, and the mayor of Maebashi City made decisions according to their suggestions.

The physicians’ judgment was based on enthusiastic studies and discussions. Still, it required a great deal of courage, because the physicians were keenly aware of their responsibilities to schoolchildren and students. Thus, we decided to form the research group to investigate the details of influenza epidemics and continued activities for the past five years.

Our research was conducted as a part of the responsibilities of those engaged in school health, not purely for academic purposes. Large amounts of data were collected for five years, and some valuable findings were obtained. Although some data have not been fully analyzed for publication, we have decided to provide an outline of the research results obtained so far.

Our research focused on the investigation of influenza epidemics in an area without influenza vaccinations. We intended to resume vaccinations if the research demonstrated that discontinuation of mass vaccinations was inappropriate. However, the results have provided no rationale for resuming vaccinations.

In this report, we intend neither to describe the merits and demerits of influenza vaccines nor to investigate in detail the efficacy of vaccines in preventing infection and disease onset. However, we are very interested in whether the mass vaccination of schoolchildren and students is useful in preventing influenza epidemics. We believe that it would be just time to review compulsory mass vaccinations of schoolchildren and students. Hopefully, our result could be useful as reference materials for the review.


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( Update : 2013/7/22)



 
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