Pediatric Flu Vaccine Guidelines Updated for 2019-20 Season

September 3, 2019 (HealthDay News)

In a policy statement published online Sept. 2 in Pediatrics, updated recommendations are presented regarding influenza vaccines for children, with no preference for any one product or formulation over another.

Researchers from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) Committee on Infectious Diseases updated recommendations for the routine use of influenza vaccines and antiviral medications for children during 2019 to 2020.

The researchers recommend routine influenza immunization starting at 6 months of age for all children without medical contraindications. Any licensed, recommended, age-appropriate vaccine is acceptable, and there is no preferred formulation or product. Both inactivated and live attenuated influenza vaccines are options, and the committee indicated no preference. The composition of the influenza vaccine has been updated; the A(H1N1)pdm09 and A(H3N2) components are new, while the B strains are unchanged. Children with suspected or confirmed influenza, especially those who are hospitalized, have severe or progressive disease, or have underlying conditions that increase their risk for complications of influenza, should receive antiviral treatment of influenza with any licensed, recommended, age-appropriate influenza antiviral medication.

“The best way to keep children healthy and in school is to get the flu vaccine by the end of October,” Flor Munoz, M.D., member of the AAP Committee on Infectious Diseases, said in a statement. “The flu virus is unpredictable, spreads easily, and can cause serious illness, so we urge vaccination in children and adolescents to protect them, their family, and community, as well.”

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