Issue: October 2011
October 01, 2011
1 min read

AAP committee offers recommendations on prevention and control of flu for this season

AAP. Pediatrics. 2011;doi:10.1542/peds.2011-2295.

Issue: October 2011
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The American Academy of Pediatrics’ Committee on Infectious Diseases is encouraging universal influenza vaccination this influenza season and is urging clinicians to make special efforts to reach those with a higher risk of illness for this influenza season.

Committee chair Michael T. Brady, MD, and colleagues wrote several key points in a recent policy statement, one of which is that the composition of the influenza vaccine for the 2011-2012 season remains unchanged from composition for the 2010-2011 season.

Another point is that pediatricians are encouraged to vaccinate children annually with influenza vaccine.

Thirdly, a dosing algorithm for administering influenza vaccine to children aged 6 months to 8 years is now available and should make the process simpler to understand and follow.

The fourth key point in the Red Book policy statement refers to patients with egg allergies. These children can safely receive influenza vaccine in the office, without the need for an allergy consultation. This recommendation followed similar recommendations from the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, which earlier this year voted to recommend administration of trivalent inactivated influenza vaccine to patients with a history of egg allergy. This CDC recommendation was based on data reviewed by the clinical immunization safety assessment hypersensitivity working group of the ACIP.

The final key point is that clinicians should be aware that an intradermal trivalent inactivated influenza vaccine is now licensed for patients aged 18 to 64 years. The AAP statement also encourages strong outreach efforts to prevent influenza by using the vaccine and educating the public.

“Pediatricians should promptly identify influenza infections to enable rapid treatment, when indicated, to reduce childhood morbidity and mortality,” the researchers wrote in their statement.

The panel also said efforts should be made to create proper outreach and infrastructure to allow an optimal distribution of vaccine so that more people are immunized.

Disclosure: The authors reported no relevant financial disclosures.

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