AAP Issues Recommendations for 2012 to 2013 Influenza Season

Joe Barber Jr, PhD

September 10, 2012

September 10, 2012 — The 2012 to 2013 influenza vaccine contains different A and B strains than those of previous years, but many of the control and prevention recommendations of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) regarding children are similar to those of the previous influenza season, according to a guidance issued by the AAP.

The committee on Infectious Diseases of the AAP published their guidance in the October issue of Pediatrics.

The 2012 to 2013 vaccine contains A/California/7/2009 (H1N1)–like antigen, as the 2011 to 2012 vaccine did. The 2012 to 2013 vaccine also contains A/Victoria/361/2011 (H3N2)–like antigen and B/Wisconsin/1/2010–like antigen. In contrast, the 2011 to 2012 vaccine contained A/Perth/2009 (H3N2) and B/Brisbane/60/2008 antigen.

The guidance recommends immunization for all individuals, including children and adolescents at least 6 months of age. The guidance also notes that special efforts should be made to immunize children with conditions that increase the risk for influenza-related complications, all healthcare professionals, and all women who are pregnant, may become pregnant, or are breast-feeding during the influenza season.

The guidance also recommends a second vaccine dose for children between 6 months and 8 years of age who have not received 2 or more doses of seasonal vaccine since July 1, 2010. This second dose should be delivered at least 4 weeks after the first dose.

To provide additional protection against the 2 prevalent B strains that circulate annually, a quadrivalent vaccine is currently under development, and it is expected to replace the current live-attenuated influenza vaccine for the 2013 to 2014 influenza season. The guidance also notes that inactivated quadrivalent vaccines are under development.

Oral oseltamivir (Tamiflu, Genentech) and inhaled zanamivir (Relenza, GlaxoSmithKline) remain the only antiviral medications recommended for chemoprophylaxis or treatment during the 2012 to 2013 season.

The authors have disclosed no relevant financial relationships.

Pediatrics. Published online September 10, 2012.

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