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Seasonal Influenza Vaccine Recommendations Updated

AAP policy statement discusses use of trivalent seasonal influenza vaccine for 2010/2011 season

MONDAY, Aug. 30 (HealthDay News) -- The American Academy of Pediatrics' Committee on Infectious Diseases has updated its recommendations on the routine use of trivalent seasonal influenza vaccine as well as antiviral medications for the prevention and treatment of influenza among children; the recommendations are part of a policy statement published online Aug. 30 in Pediatrics.

For the 2010/2011 influenza season, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends annual trivalent seasonal influenza vaccine immunization for all children and adolescents 6 months of age and older, including both healthy children and those at high risk of influenza complications. In addition, trivalent seasonal influenza vaccination is important for household members and out-of-home care providers of children with high-risk conditions as well as healthy children younger than 5 years of age. The Academy also recommends vaccination for pregnant women and health care workers.

The statement describes the two different types of trivalent seasonal influenza vaccine -- injectable trivalent inactivated influenza vaccine (TIV) and intranasally administered live-attenuated influenza vaccine (LAIV) -- and notes that healthy children aged 2 and older can receive either type. It emphasizes that certain groups of children should receive TIV only and others LAIV only. In addition, the statement notes that oseltamivir and zanamivir are the only antiviral medications routinely recommended for either chemoprophylaxis or treatment during the upcoming season.

"Pediatricians continue to have a leadership role in the prevention of influenza through vaccine use and public education," the authors write. "In addition, pediatricians should promptly identify influenza infections to enable rapid treatment of influenza, when indicated, to reduce childhood morbidity and mortality."

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