New flu vaccine guidelines for children get CDC, AAFP approval


Much like the autumn leaves they accompany, influenza strains are always changing their colors. As such, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has tailored new recommendations for vaccine use in children during the 2012-2013 season, intent on meeting altered ailment with altered antidote.

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Among the amendments in the CDC’s prevention protocol for flu-prone children is an updated vaccination schedule for kids ages 6 months to 8 years. Only one dose of the vaccine will be needed if any of the following are applicable to a given case:

  • The child has received 2 or more doses of seasonal influenza vaccine since July 1, 2010.
  • The child has received 2 or more doses of seasonal influenza vaccine before July 1, 2010, and 1 or more doses of monovalent 2009 (H1N1) vaccine.

  • The child has received 1 or more doses of seasonal influenza vaccine before July 1, 2010, and 1 or more doses of seasonal influenza vaccine since July 1, 2010.

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For children in the noted age bracket who do not match this criteria, the CDC recommends two doses of the upcoming influenza vaccine, to be administered four weeks apart (at the minimum). “Children who received the seasonal trivalent vaccine before the 2010-11 season, but did not receive vaccine containing the 2009 influenza A (H1N1) antigen, are recommended to receive two doses this season, regardless of the number of doses they received prior to the 2010-11 season,” the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP), which supports the CDC recommendations, added in a news release.

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The new guidelines also provide the below information worthy of provider consideration:

  • descriptions of available vaccine products and indications;
  • a discussion of febrile seizures associated with administration of influenza and 13-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccines;
  • recommendations for vaccination among people with a history of egg allergy; and
  • information about the development of quadrivalent influenza vaccines (i.e., containing two A and two B viral antigens) for use in future influenza seasons.

A study conducted amongst children (ages 5-8 years) who received trivalent inactivated influenza vaccines for the first time, displayed for the CDC powerful evidence supporting flu vaccination effectiveness — a more significant portion of these subjects, who received both vaccines, were able to generate the protective antibody response needed to ward of influenza compared to those subjects who only received one dose.  

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The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices developed the guidelines originally; the recommendations received merit through their approval by the CDC and the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services.

The standards can be found here in the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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