RELEASE MAY 3, 2004 from the American Academy of Pediatrics
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has expanded its recommendation for annual influenza immunizations to include children ages 6 through 23 months, as well as close contacts and care givers of children.
Recent studies show that children younger than age 2, and children with chronic conditions like diabetes, asthma run a high risk of hospitalization for influenza and related complications, including severe pneumonia. In fact, young children run higher risk of hospitalization for flu-related infections than healthy adults, ages 50 to 64, for whom annual immunizations have been recommended since 2000.
In revised policy statements, the Academy recommends that health care professionals diligently work to ensure all immunization for:
- Healthy children between 6 through 23 months of age during the flu season (October through March).
- Persons in close contact with high-risk children including health care professionals, family members, and children ages 0 though 23 months.
- Children with a variety of conditions and diseases including asthma, cystic fibrosis, significant cardiac diseases,, sickle cell anemia, and diabetes
- Women who will be pregnant during the influenza season.
The influenza immunization is not recommended for children younger than 6 months of age.