Childhood Influenza Vaccine Recommendations, Flu Vaccination Recommendations for Children, Influenza Prevention for Children, Influenza Risk, Flu Risk

 
Overview

One of health care professionals' greatest responsibilities is making sure children receive their recommended vaccinations, including an annual influenza vaccination. Unfortunately, parents and other family members are often unaware of the seriousness of influenza and the value of immunization for children. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently expanded the pediatric influenza vaccination recommendation to include all children 6 months through 18 years of age. Yet, despite CDC recommendations, each year the flu leads to approximately 20,000 hospitalizations and nearly 100 deaths in American children younger than 5 years of age. Experts agree it’s critical that health care professionals educate patients about the severity of influenza and recommend vaccination to increase immunization rates among children and their contacts.

Health care professionals should:

  • Use every opportunity to vaccinate, such as during well-child, follow-up or acute care visits
  • Begin immunizing as soon as vaccine becomes available
  • Continue to vaccinate throughout the influenza season. Influenza vaccination rates drop significantly after Thanksgiving, even though the number of influenza cases typically does not peak until February

Additionally, the Coalition strongly supports the CDC recommendation to vaccinate health care workers to protect them and prevent transmitting the influenza virus to patients.

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