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Lancet Infect Dis. 2004 Feb;4(2):75-83.

Are we ready for universal influenza vaccination in paediatrics?

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Institute of Paediatrics of the University of Milan, Italy.


Recent studies have suggested that paediatric influenza is a greater medical problem than usually thought because it can cause excess hospitalisations, medical visits, and antibiotic prescriptions even in healthy children, especially those under 2 years. Furthermore, influenza in otherwise healthy children may have substantial socioeconomic consequences for the children and their household contacts. These findings have led many experts to encourage the more widespread use of influenza vaccine in childhood. Although the immunogenicity of the available vaccines is good and they are safe, well-tolerated, and highly effective in preventing influenza and its complications, economic data support universal vaccination only when indirect effectiveness is considered. However, infants aged 6-23 months, children with recurrent acute otitis media or respiratory-tract infections, and healthy children attending day-care centres or elementary schools should be included among the paediatric groups requiring vaccination.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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