Routine Flu Shots for Toddlers Feasible

Doctors surveyed said those aged 12 to 35 months could be vaccinated

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WEDNESDAY, Sept. 8, 2004 (HealthDayNews) -- A nationwide survey of 458 American pediatricians and family doctors found that most of them agree it's feasible to conduct widespread routine flu vaccinations for children aged 12 to 35 months old.

The results appear in the September issue of the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine.

The survey found 80 percent of the pediatricians and 69 percent of the family doctors agreed this kind of program would be feasible. Sixty-seven percent of pediatricians and 57 percent of family doctors agreed such a program would greatly reduce sickness during the flu season.

Only 50 percent of pediatricians and 40 percent of family doctors agreed it was viable to vaccinate children as young as 6 months old.

"Physicians considered the major barriers to implementation of universal influenza vaccination to be costs to practices and parents, parental concerns about vaccine safety, and the need for additional vaccinations or visits without the practices having reminder-recall capabilities, or efficient methods to handle the large volume of visits," the study authors wrote.

In 2003, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices recommended that children aged 6 to 23 months old routinely receive influenza vaccinations.

More information

The Nemours Foundation has more about children and flu.

SOURCE: JAMA/Archives Journals, news release, Sept. 6, 2004

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