Flu vaccine: This year’s recommendations

August 21, 2014

The influenza strains in the 2014-2015 flu vaccine will be the same as last year, which means that children aged 6 months to 8 years who had at least 1 dose of the 2013-2014 vaccine last season will need only 1 dose this season, according to updated recommendations from the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

 

The influenza strains in the 2014-2015 flu vaccine will be the same as last year, which means that children aged 6 months to 8 years who had at least 1 dose of the 2013-2014 vaccine last season will need only 1 dose this season, according to updated recommendations from the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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Healthy children aged 2 to 8 years should receive live attenuated influenza vaccine (LAIV) by nasal spray if it’s readily available. If not, they should receive inactivated influenza vaccine (IIV) instead of waiting for LAIV. Live attenuated influenza vaccine should not be given to patients aged younger than 2 years or older than 49 years or those who have contraindications to the vaccine. The recommendations include a list of contraindications and a dosing algorithm for children aged 6 months to 8 years.

Life attenuated influenza vaccine has been found to be more effective than IIV, with a similar risk profile, for children aged 6 months to 6 years. Efficacy data for older children and teenagers are more limited. The upper limit of 8 years for LAIV is based on the efficacy data for younger children and consistency inasmuch as 8 years is the oldest recommended age when a previously unvaccinated child can receive 2 doses of flu vaccine.

The ACIP recommendations include a table of vaccines that will be available for this year’s flu season, which lists mercury content, ovalbumin content, route of administration, and age indications. 

 

 

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