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Indian Pediatr. 2013 Sep;50(9):867-74.

Influenza vaccination in India: position paper of Indian Academy of Pediatrics, 2013.

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Advisory Committee on Vaccines and Immunization Practices, Indian Academy of Pediatrics. Correspondence to: Dr Vipin M Vashishtha, Convener, IAP Advisory Committee on Vaccines and Immunization Practices (ACVIP), Mangla Hospital and Research Center, Shakti Chowk, Bijnor, Uttar Pradesh, 246701, India.


Burden of Influenza is significantly higher in developing countries as compared to developed countries, but the data on the disease burden is less well defined in most of the developing countries including India, and consequently, constraints evolving strategies for prioritization of measures to prevent and control it. The swine flu or A(H1N1) pandemic is on the wane but the virus continues to circulate causing sporadic outbreaks even in 2013. The A(H1N1)pdm09 has replaced the previous circulating seasonal A (H1N1) virus and acquired the status of a seasonal virus. Limited influenza activity is usually seen throughout the year in India with a clear peaking during the rainy season. The rainy season in the country lasts from June to August in all the regions except Tamil Nadu where it occurs from October to December. IAP recommends the ideal time for offering influenza vaccines is just before the onset of rainy season. The efficacy/effectiveness data of trivalent inactivated influenza vaccines are also presented in different age groups and different categories of individuals. The IAP maintains its earlier recommendations of using the current trivalent inactivated influenza vaccine in all children with risk factors but not as a universal measure. IAP has now prioritized different target groups for influenza vaccination based on contribution of the group to the overall influenza burden, disease severity, and vaccine effectiveness in different age groups and categories. The current trivalent inactivated influenza vaccines incorporate the 2009 pandemic strain also, hence avert the need of a separate A (H1N1) vaccine. IAP stresses the need of more refined surveillance; large scale studies on effectiveness of seasonal influenza vaccines in Indian children, and more effective, properly matched, higher-valent influenza vaccines.

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