Epidemiologic studies indicate that children of all ages with certain chronic conditions and otherwise healthy children younger than 24 months of age are hospitalized for influenza infection and its complications at high rates similar to those experienced by the elderly. Annual influenza immunization is recommended for all children with high-risk conditions who are 6 months of age and older. Young, healthy children are at high risk of hospitalization for influenza infection; therefore, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends influenza immunization for healthy children 6 through 24 months of age, for household contacts and out-of-home caregivers of all children younger than 24 months of age, and for health care professionals. To protect these children more fully against the complications of influenza, increased efforts are needed to identify all high-risk children and inform their parents when annual immunization is due. The purposes of this statement are to update recommendations for routine use of influenza vaccine in children and to review the indications for use of trivalent inactivated influenza vaccine and live-attenuated influenza vaccine.
- Copyright © 2004 by the American Academy of Pediatrics