HealthDay News — All children aged 6 months and older should receive a seasonal flu vaccine during the 2016-2017 flu season, according to an updated policy statement from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), published online September 6 in Pediatrics.
Among other recommendations in the statement, the AAP called for a special effort to vaccinate certain groups. These include: all health care personnel; children and teens with medical conditions that could increase the risk of complications from flu; American Indian/Alaska Native children; and household contacts and out-of-home care providers of high-risk children, including those under 5, and especially those younger than 2.
Pregnant and breastfeeding women also should be vaccinated, according to the statement. A flu vaccine at any point during pregnancy is safe and crucial because pregnant women are at high risk of complications from flu. Vaccination of pregnant women also provides protection for their infants during the first six months of life, the AAP said.
Health care providers should begin offering flu vaccines no later than October and continue until June 30, according to the AAP statement.