Prevention of influenza: Recommendations for influenza immunization of children, 2007-2008

Academic Article


  • The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends annual influenza immunization for all children with high-risk conditions who are 6 months of age and older, for all healthy children ages 6 through 59 months, for all household contacts and out-of-home caregivers of children with high-risk conditions and of healthy children younger than 5 years, and for all health care professionals. To more fully protect against the morbidity and mortality of influenza, increased efforts are needed to identify and immunize all children at high risk and all healthy children ages 6 through 59 months and to inform their parents when annual immunizations are due. Previously unimmunized children who are at least 6 months of age but younger than 9 years should receive 2 doses of influenza vaccine, given 1 month apart, beginning as soon as possible on the basis of local availability during the influenza season. If children in this cohort received only 1 dose for the first time in the previous season, it is recommended that 2 doses be administered in the current season. This recommendation applies only to the influenza season that follows the first year that a child younger than 9 years receives influenza vaccine. A child who then also fails to receive 2 doses the next year should be given only 1 dose per year from that point on. Influenza vaccine should also continue to be offered throughout the influenza season, even after influenza activity has been documented in a community. On the basis of global surveillance of circulating virus strains, the influenza vaccine may change from year to year;indeed, 1 of the 3 strains in the 2007-2008 vaccine is different from the previous year's vaccine. All health care professionals, influenza campaign organizers, and public health agencies should develop plans for expanding outreach and infrastructure to immunize all children for whom influenza vaccine is recommended. Appropriate prioritization of administering influenza vaccine will also be necessary when vaccine supplies are delayed or limited. Because the influenza season often extends into March, immunization against influenza is recommended to continue through late winter and early spring. Lastly, it is recommended that for the 2007-2008 season, and likely beyond, health care professionals do not prescribe amantadine or rimantadine for influenza treatment or chemoprophylaxis, because widespread resistance to these antiviral medications now exists among influenza A viral strains. However, oseltamivir and zanamivir can be prescribed for treatment or chemoprophylaxis, because influenza A and B strains remain susceptible. Copyright © 2008 by the American Academy of Pediatrics.
  • Published In

  • Pediatrics  Journal
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Bocchini JA; Bernstein HH; Bradley JS; Brady MT; Byington CL; Dennehy PH; Frenck RW; Glode MP; Keyserling HL; Kimberlin DW
  • Volume

  • 121
  • Issue

  • 4