Influenza Vaccination Schedule for Children Updated

Lara C. Pullen, PhD

August 17, 2012

August 17, 2012 — The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) has published its recommendations for the 2012-2013 Influenza Season in the August 17 issue of the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

Virus Strains

The 2012-2013 US influenza vaccines will contain A/California/7/2009 (H1N1)-like, A/Victoria/361/2011 (H3N2)-like, and B/Wisconsin/1/2010-like (Yamagata lineage) antigens. Two of these antigens differ from the 2010-2011 and 2011-2012 seasonal vaccine antigens. The influenza A(H1N1) antigen was included in the 2009(H1N1) monovalent pandemic vaccine, as well as the 2010-2011 and 2011-2012 seasonal vaccines.

Updated Vaccination Schedule for Children

This year there is an updated vaccination schedule for children aged 6 months through 8 years. Children require 2 doses of influenza vaccine (administered at least 4 weeks apart) during their first season of vaccination. Children who received the seasonal (trivalent) influenza vaccine before the 2010-2011 season, but did not receive a vaccine with the 2009(H1N1) antigen, are also recommended to receive 2 doses this season. This is because they would not have previously received the 2009(H1N1) antigen. All other children can receive 1 dose of influenza vaccine.

Febrile Seizures

Febrile seizures have been associated with the administration of influenza and 13-valent pneumococcal conjugate (PCV13) vaccines. However, after reviewing the data on febrile seizures from the 2010-2011 influenza season, the ACIP does not recommend a change in the recommended use of trivalent inactivated vaccine (TIV) or PCV13 vaccines for the 2011-2012 season. The ACIP also does not recommend the use of US-licensed CSL Biotherapies' TIV, Afluria, for children aged younger than 9 years, as it has been associated with an increased risk for fevers and febrile seizures in young children in Australia.

Egg Allergy

The ACIP now recommends that people with an egg allergy who only report hives after egg exposure receive TIV. Persons with a history of egg allergy should be given TIV and not live-attenuated influenza vaccine.

Quadrivalent Influenza Vaccines

A new seasonal quadrivalent live-attenuated influenza vaccine was approved by the US Food and Drug Administration in February 2012 but likely will not be available until the 2013-2014 influenza season.

Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2012;61:613-618. Full text

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