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Korean J Pediatr. 2014 Apr;57(4):164-70. doi: 10.3345/kjp.2014.57.4.164. Epub 2014 Apr 30.

Effectiveness and safety of seasonal influenza vaccination in children with underlying respiratory diseases and allergy.

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  • 1Department of Pediatrics, Seoul St. Mary's Hospital, Vaccine Bio Research Institute, The Catholic University of Korea College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.

Abstract

Influenza causes acute respiratory infections and various complications. Children in the high-risk group have higher complication and hospitalization rates than high-risk elderly individuals. Influenza prevention in children is important, as they can be a source infection spread in their communities. Influenza vaccination is strongly recommended for high-risk children with chronic underlying circulatory and respiratory disease, immature infants, and children receiving long-term immunosuppressant treatment or aspirin. However, vaccination rates in these children are low because of concerns regarding the exacerbation of underlying diseases and vaccine efficacy. To address these concerns, many clinical studies on children with underlying respiratory diseases have been conducted since the 1970s. Most of these reported no differences in immunogenicity or adverse reactions between healthy children and those with underlying respiratory diseases and no adverse effects of the influenza vaccine on the disease course. Further to these studies, the inactivated split-virus influenza vaccine is recommended for children with underlying respiratory disease, in many countries. However, the live-attenuated influenza vaccine (LAIV) is not recommended for children younger than 5 years with asthma or recurrent wheezing. Influenza vaccination is contraindicated in patients with severe allergies to egg, chicken, or feathers, because egg-cultivated influenza vaccines may contain ovalbumin. There has been no recent report of serious adverse events after influenza vaccination in children with egg allergy. However, many experts recommend the trivalent influenza vaccine for patients with severe egg allergy, with close observation for 30 minutes after vaccination. LAIV is still not recommended for patients with asthma or egg allergy.

KEYWORDS:

Allergy; Influenza; Respiratory disease; Vaccination

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