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With the start of the new school year, children are not the only ones learning a new routine: practitioners are familiarizing themselves with updated guidelines for influenza vaccination.
With the start of the new school year, children are not the only ones learning a new routine: practitioners are familiarizing themselves with updated guidelines for influenza vaccination. New policy statements released by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) indicate that all individuals older than 6 months of age should receive the flu vaccine, according to arecent press release.
Explaining why the recommendations include all individuals, Henry Bernstein, DO, MHCM, FAAP, author of the statements, said, “The flu virus is unpredictable. We cannot always anticipate how severely it will affect different groups of people. Being immunized with the flu vaccine every year significantly reduces the risk of your child being hospitalized due to flu, and it protects other vulnerable members of your family and community.”
Wendy Sue Swanson, MD, MBE, FAAP, a spokesperson for the AAP, went on to say that, “Flu vaccine is a critically important, every-year vaccine that can protect [children] from very serious illness and death due to a virus that is so often common in our communities, and so common in childhood.” During the 2014-2015 flu season, 145 children died from influenza-related illness, and many of these children had no underlying medical condition.
With the 2015-16 flu season gearing up to start in the early fall or winter, the AAP is urging parents to vaccinate their children as early as possible.
Recommendations on vaccine types and proper dosing guidelines are availablehere. Practitioners can also learn more about influenza vaccines throughvideo interviewswith Rupal Mansukhani, PharmD, clinical assistant professor at the Ernest Mario School of Pharmacy at Rutgers.