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Vaccine. 2011 Oct 6;29(43):7529-34. doi: 10.1016/j.vaccine.2011.08.011. Epub 2011 Aug 4.

Effectiveness and safety of influenza vaccination in children: European perspective.

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  • 1Department of Pediatrics, Turku University Hospital, Turku, Finland. terho.heikkinen@utu.fi


Accumulating evidence for the substantial burden of influenza in children has increased interest in the vaccination of young children against influenza. So far, however, few European countries have issued official recommendations to vaccinate healthy children, which is largely due to the popular belief that inactivated influenza vaccines are ineffective in young children. Virologically confirmed studies performed during different seasons have yielded widely varying estimates for vaccine effectiveness and suggested that the match between the vaccine and the circulating strains of influenza viruses is one of the key drivers of the effectiveness of the vaccine. In seasons with good antigenic match, inactivated influenza vaccines are clearly effective also in children younger than 2 years of age. The live attenuated influenza vaccine provides even greater effectiveness in children, but the overall potential of this vaccine is limited by its licensure for only children older than 2 years of age. The safety record of seasonal inactivated influenza vaccines is excellent even in the youngest children.

Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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