Flu Vaccine Recommendations for Children Under Four

Each year the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) makes recommendations about who should get the influenza vaccine. The focus of the flu shot campaign among healthy people has been on people aged 65 and older, because they have been considered to be at the highest risk for flu-related complications and hospitalization. However, it turns out that children under age 2 (and possibly age 4) are at equally high risk!

For the first time, on April 12, 2002, the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) urges all healthy children age 6 to 23 months to get the get the flu vaccine.

Because the vaccine has not been licensed for children under 6 months, it recommends that household contacts of these babies be vaccinated for their protection.

There will not be a public education campaign this year about this major change in thought, but you can read the original document at http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/rr5103a1.htm

Published on: September 25, 2002
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Dr. Greene is a practicing physician, author, national and international TEDx speaker, and global health advocate. He is a graduate of Princeton University and University of California San Francisco.
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