HealthDay News — Children should be vaccinated against influenza as soon as possible rather than waiting for new four-strain versions, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) emphasized in it’s annual influenza vaccine recommendations.
“Vaccination should not be delayed to obtain a specific product,” guideline author Michael T. Brady, MD, of Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio, and colleagues, reported in Pediatrics. “Any available, age-appropriate trivalent or quadrivalent vaccine can be used.”
Several newly approved vaccines — Fluzone Quadrivalent vaccine (Sanofi Pasteur) for patients 6 months and older, FluMist Quadrivalent (Medimmune) for those aged 2 years and older, and Fluarix Quadrivalent (GlaxoSmithKline) for those aged 3 years and older — provide protection against the “Victoria” lineage B influenza strains, in addition to the other main B virus strain and two A virus strains included in the trivalent vaccine.
The trivalent vaccine for the 2013 to 2014 season includes the following strains:
- Influenza A/California/7/2009 (H1N1) pdm09-like virus (same as 2012 to 2013);
- Influenza A/Texas/50/2012 (H3N2) virus (antigenically like the 2012 to 2013 strain);
- Influenza B/Massachusetts/2/2012-like virus (a B/Yamagata lineage like 2012 to 2013, but a different virus).
For children aged 6 months through 8 years, the dosing algorithm for administering influenza vaccine is unchanged from the 2012-2013 vaccine season.
The guideline also encourages immunizing adults who care for children, particularly those younger than 6 months who are too young to be vaccinated and are at highest risk for influenza-related complications.
“As always, pediatricians, nurses and all health care personnel should promote influenza vaccine use and infection control measures,” the guidelines state. “In addition, pediatricians should promptly identify influenza infections to enable rapid antiviral treatment, when indicated, to reduce morbidity and mortality.”