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In France, annual seasonal influenza vaccination has been recommended since 2000 for patients suffering from chronic respiratory diseases, including asthma. Since 1988, each year from September to December, a free influenza vaccination voucher is sent by the French Public Health Insurance authorities to patients with chronic respiratory disease, including severe asthma. In November 2006, this measure was extended to all asthmatic patients, irrespective of asthma severity. The present paper examines the 2006-7 influenza vaccination coverage rate (VCR) in 433 asthmatic children aged 6 to 17 years (mean age: 9.5 years; male: 61%) who consulted a paediatric pulmonologist between March and September 2007 in eight hospitals throughout France. The influenza VCR was 15.7% for the 2006-7 season (13.9% for the 2005-6 season and 10.9% for the 2004-5 season). General practitioners vaccinated 72.1% of the children. 'Lack of information' (42%) was the most frequently reported reason for non-vaccination. Vouchers (received by 39.6% of the children) significantly increased the VCR (31% versus 5.9%; p<0.001). In France, in 2006-7, the influenza VCR in asthmatic children was far below the national public health objective (at least 75% for the year 2008). Concerted action is needed to improve the influenza VCR in asthmatic children.


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