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MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2004 Sep 24;53(37):863-6.

Childhood influenza-vaccination coverage--United States, 2002-03 influenza season.


Children aged <2 years are at increased risk for influenza-related hospitalizations. Beginning in 2002, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) encouraged that, when feasible, all children aged 6-23 months, as well as household contacts and out-of-home caregivers for children aged <2 years, receive influenza vaccinations each influenza season. Beginning with the 2004-05 influenza season, ACIP strengthened the encouragement to a recommendation. Other children recommended to receive influenza vaccine continue to include those aged 6 months--18 years with certain high-risk medical conditions and those aged 6 months-18 years who are household contacts of persons at high risk for influenza complications. This report on childhood influenza-vaccination coverage for the 2002-03 influenza season provides a baseline for the continuing assessment of coverage among children aged 6-23 months. The findings demonstrate that, during the first year of the ACIP encouragement to vaccinate children aged 6-23 months against influenza, vaccination coverage was low, with substantial variability among states and urban areas.

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