New American Academy of Pediatrics flu vaccine guidelines

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The H1N1 virus is expected to again be a major risk this flu season.

The H1N1 virus is expected to again be a major risk this flu season. The AAP is recommending that all children aged 6 months and older receive the trivalent seasonal influenza vaccine to prevent infection during the 2010-2011 flu season.

To ensure adequate protection against H1N1, the AAP is recommending vaccination based on previous vaccinations. As in 2009, all children aged 9 years and younger should receive 2 doses of the vaccine, unless they received the vaccine before the 2009-2010 flu season and received at least 1 dose of the H1N1 vaccine last year; these children need only receive 1 dose of the current vaccine. If it uncertain whether a child under age 9 has received a dose of the H1N1 vaccine, 2 doses of this year's vaccine are recommended. The second dose of the vaccine should be given at least 4 weeks after the first. Children 9 years old and older need only 1 dose of this year's vaccine, regardless of their vaccination history. The vaccine is not appropriate for children aged 6 months and younger.

The AAP's full policy statement recommendations for the flu vaccine are published in the August 30 online issue of Pediatrics.

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Tina Tan, MD, FAAP, FIDSA, FPIDS, editor in chief, Contemporary Pediatrics, professor of pediatrics, Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University, pediatric infectious diseases attending, Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago
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