Child Influenza Vaccination and Adult Work Loss: Reduced Sick Leave Use Only in Adults With Paid Sick Leave

William K. Bleser, Patricia Y. Miranda, Daniel A. Salmon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Introduction: Children are a population of interest for influenza. They are at increased risk for severe influenza, comprise a substantial portion of influenza morbidity, and significantly contribute to its transmission in the household and subsequent parental work loss. The association between influenza vaccination and work loss prevention, however, has rarely been studied, and the sparse existing literature has very limited generalizability to U.S. adults, thus requiring better characterization. Methods: Using pooled National Health Interview Survey data (2013–2015, analyses conducted in 2018) nationally representative of working U.S. adults with household children (n=23,014), zero-inflated negative binomial regression examined the association of child influenza vaccination (exposure) with sick days (outcome) stratified by paid sick leave (no: n=10,741, yes: n=12,273). Results: Child influenza vaccination was associated with significantly lower sick day usage, but only among adults with paid sick leave (prevalence rate ratio=0.79, 95% CI=0.67, 0.93), equating to average annual sick days of 4.07 vs 3.29 in adults with unvaccinated versus vaccinated household children (difference=0.78 fewer days annually). Conclusions: Influenza vaccination of children is associated with reduced sick leave in household adults, helping to keep the workforce healthy and reduce influenza's costly annual economic burden. This only occurred among adults with paid sick leave, however, which is distributed inequitably by income, education, gender, occupation, and race/ethnicity. Health in All Policies considers downstream health effects of social and economic policy; the failure of federal policy to ensure paid sick leave likely contributes to propagating influenza and health inequities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)251-261
Number of pages11
JournalAmerican Journal of Preventive Medicine
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Epidemiology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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