New flu requirements from CDC

July 18, 2008

Five new changes to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) yearly recommendations to fight the flu call for more and earlier immunizations.

Five new changes to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) yearly recommendations to fight the flu call for more and earlier immunizations.

The five changes are:

1. All children ages 5 to 18 are recommended to be vaccinated against the flu yearly, starting in September of the 2008-2009 season if feasible but no later than 2009-2010.

2. Children six months old to 4 years, and older children at higher risk of infection, should continue to be immunized, and primarily focused on since they could have worse complications

3. A choice in using either live, attenuated influenza vaccine or trivalent inactivated vaccine for vaccinating healthy people ages 2 to 49.

4. A recommendation to use the three new-brew trivalent vaccines for the 2008-2009 season, instead of an older vaccine.

5. Updated information on resistant antiviral strains of influenza.

CDC has posted the new report on www.cdc.gov/flu, as well as regularly updated safety information for patients and health care professionals.

For more information on how the influenza vaccines are designed to fight a mutating foe, see the feature article in Contemporary Pedatrics' upcoming August issue.