AAP Urges Flu Vaccine for All Children 6 Months and Older
(HealthDay News) — The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has updated their influenza vaccine recommendations and is urging vaccination for everyone 6 months of age and older. The recommendations were published online September 22 in Pediatrics.
There are two vaccines available: the quadrivalent vaccine and the trivalent vaccine. Children aged 6 months through 8 years old may need two doses of the vaccine to be fully protected. New to the recommendations this year is a stronger recommendation for the nasal spray form of the vaccine. That vaccine, the live attenuated influenza vaccine, should be considered for healthy children aged 2–8, the AAP said. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has also recommended the nasal spray vaccine for young children. While the flu shot and the nasal spray both protect against the flu, there is evidence that the nasal spray may work better in younger children than the flu shot, according to the agency.
Children who shouldn't get the nasal vaccine are those who have had a severe allergic reaction to it. In addition, the vaccine is not for children who have medical conditions such as asthma, diabetes, heart or kidney disease, or who have taken antiviral medications within two days of getting a vaccination, according to the CDC.
Plenty of vaccine should be available, lead author Henry Bernstein, DO, a specialist in pediatrics at North Shore-LIJ Health System in New Hyde Park, NY, told HealthDay. "Manufacturers are expecting somewhere around 160 million doses," he said. "It's important to get the vaccine as soon as it's available."