HealthDay News — The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has updated recommendations for routine use of trivalent seasonal influenza vaccine and antiviral medications for the prevention and treatment of influenza in children during the 2012-2013 influenza season, including two options for vaccine dosing in children ages 6 months through 8 years.
The influenza A and B antigens are different from those selected in the 2010 to 2011 and 2011 to 2012 seasonal vaccines. The 2012 to 2013 trivalent influenza vaccine contains the following:
Michael T. Brady, MD, and colleagues from the AAP’s Committee on Infectious Diseases developed the new guidelines, which were published online in Pediatrics, in conjunction with the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP). The AAP recommendations for the upcoming season are consistent with those of the CDC.
The new dosing algorithm for administering influenza vaccine to children aged 6 months through 8 years, states that those who have received at least two doses of the trivalent seasonal vaccine since July 2010 need only one dose.
If that condition isn’t met or if the patient’s vaccination history is unclear, the child should receive two doses separated by at least four weeks.
Among children with a detailed vaccination history available, clinicians should consider receipt of vaccines containing the pandemic H1N1 virus, the committee recommended. If a child has received at least two seasonal flu vaccines from any previous season, and at least one dose of a vaccine containing the pandemic H1N1 virus (including the monovalent pandemic vaccine or either of the two trivalent vaccines released from 2010-2012), just one dose of this year’s vaccine is necessary.
All individuals, including children and adolescents aged ≥6 months should be vaccinated during the 2012 to 2013 season, with the committee placing special emphasis on several key groups, including:
- Children at-risk for influenza-related complications, such as those born preterm or those with chronic medical conditions such as asthma, diabetes, immunosuppression, HIV infection or neurologic disorders
- Women who are pregnant or who are considering getting pregnant, and those who are in the immediate postpartum period or who are breastfeeding during the flu season
- Healthcare personnel
- Those in close contact with children younger than 5 years, as well as immunocompromised individuals and others at high risk for influenza
“Pediatricians, nurses, and all health care personnel should promote influenza vaccine use and infection control measures,” Brady and colleagues wrote. “In addition, pediatricians should promptly identify influenza infections to enable rapid treatment, when indicated, to reduce morbidity and mortality.”
The recommendations also included information about patients in whom influenza vaccination is contraindicated. Infants aged younger than 6 months and children who have a moderate to severe febrile illness, as determined by a pediatrician, should not be administered trivalent inactivated inﬂuenza vaccine.
Furthermore, the live-attenuated inﬂuenza vaccine is not recommended for children aged younger than 2 years, those with nasal congestion that could impede vaccine delivery, those with underlying medical conditions (including metabolic disease, diabetes and asthma) and children who are taking aspirin or other salicylates.
It is safe to administer influenza vaccine with all other recommended routine vaccinations, the committee noted.