AAP calls for mandatory flu vaccines for children, health care workers
Children aged 6 months to 8 years and all health care workers should get the flu vaccine.
HealthDay News — All eligible children and health care workers should receive influenza vaccination, according to new policy statements from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). The policy statements were published online Sept. 7 in Pediatrics.
The AAP recommends that annual influenza vaccination should be given to all people 6 months of age and older. Children aged 6 months to 8 years require two doses this flu season if they have received less than two doses of flu vaccine before July 2015. Flu vaccination is recommended for all people who have contact with children younger than 5 years of age and children with high-risk conditions.
"Employees of health care institutions have an ethical and professional obligation to act in the best interest of their patients' health," Henry Bernstein, DO, author of both policy statements, said in an AAP news release. "For the prevention and control of influenza, we must continue to put the health and safety of the patient first."
In the 2013-14 flu season, 75% of U.S. health care workers received flu vaccinations, well below the Healthy People 2020 target of 90%. Voluntary programs are less effective than mandatory programs, which can achieve health care worker vaccination rates higher than 94%, according to the AAP, which repeated its call for mandatory vaccination for health workers nationwide.