The American Academy of Paediatrics (AAP) has published recommendations that all children aged 6 months and over to receive the influenza vaccine as early as possible this year. The AAP also recommended receiving either the trivalent vaccine or the new quadrivalent vaccines, but stopped short of endorsing one over the other. The updated recommendations are available in "Recommendations for Prevention and Control of Influenza in Children, 2013-2014," published in Pediatrics.
"Parents should not delay vaccinating their children to obtain a specific vaccine," said paediatrician Henry Bernstein, D.O., FAAP, the lead author of the flu recommendations. "Influenza virus is unpredictable, and what's most important is that people receive the vaccine soon, so that they will be protected when the virus begins circulating."
This year's flu season in the US will be the first to feature quadrivalent vaccines, including GlaxoSmithKline's Fluarix (IIV4), MedImmune's FluMist (LAIV4) and Sanofi Pasteur's Fluzone (IIV4), alongside egg allergy-friendly options like Protein Sciences Corp's Flublok (RIV3) and Novartis' Flucelvax (ccIIV3).
The 2013-2014 trivalent influenza vaccine is made from:
- an A/California/7/2009 (H1N1)pdm09-like virus;
- an A(H3N2) virus antigenically like the cell-propagated prototype virus A/Victoria/361/2011;
- a B/Massachusetts/2/2012-like virus
with quadrivalent vaccines recommended to also contain B/Brisbane/60/2008-like virus.
However, when it comes to getting the either the trivalent or quadrivalent influenza vaccine, the AAP says it's more important to receive either vaccine than to delay getting the vaccine at all. “What we were concerned with was that people wouldn’t get their children immunized if the doctor only had the trivalent or three-strain vaccine,” said Dr Michael Brady, chairperson of AAP's Committee on Infectious Diseases.
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