The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends the inactive influenza vaccine for children and adolescents during the 2018-2019 influenza season, according to a new report.
Although the live attenuated influenza vaccine is returning this season, its effects against influenza A(H1N1) is unknown for the upcoming season. In previous years, the live-attenuated vaccine was inferior to the inactive version as well.
In line with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommendations, the AAP recommends all individuals aged 6 months or older receive an annual influenza vaccine, including children with an egg allergy of any severity.
Pregnant women are also recommended to receive the influenza vaccine to protect themselves and their fetus(es) against the flu. Postpartum women should also receive the flu vaccine, especially if they are breastfeeding.
Health care workers are also recommended to receive the influenza vaccine in order to prevent the spread of disease.
“Pediatricians should attempt to promptly identify their patients who are suspected of having an influenza infection for timely initiation of antiviral treatment when indicated and on the basis of shared decision-making between each pediatrician and child caregiver to reduce morbidity and mortality,” the AAP concluded.
“Although best results are seen when a child is treated within 48 hours of symptom onset, antiviral therapy should still be considered beyond 48 hours of symptom onset in children with severe disease or those at high risk of complications.”
Committee on Infectious Diseases. Recommendations for prevention and control of influenza in children, 2018-2019 [published online September 3, 2018]. Pediatrics. doi:10.1542/peds.2018-2367.