THURSDAY, Sept. 1 (HealthDay News) -- Most children need to get
a seasonal flu vaccination this year, even if they got one last
year, the American Academy of Pediatrics says.
The 2011-12 flu vaccine protects against the same three flu
strains as last year's vaccine, but a person's immunity decreases
by as much as 50 percent 6 to 12 months after vaccination.
That's why it's important for children to get another flu shot
this year, according to the AAP.
The group said this is only the fourth time in the past 25 years
that the trivalent seasonal flu vaccine has stayed the same for two
Everyone 6 months or older should receive the seasonal flu
vaccine, the AAP advises. Immunization is especially important for
all family members, household contacts, and out-of-home care
providers of children under age 5 years and children with high risk
conditions such as asthma, diabetes or nervous system
The recommendations, published online Sept. 1 and in the October
print issue of the journal
Pediatrics, also advise vaccination for all women who are pregnant, considering pregnancy, or breast-feeding during the flu season.
The flu vaccine is safe for most children with a history of mild
egg allergy -- that is, the egg allergy only causes hives -- but
parents should consult an allergist before flu vaccine is given to
children with a history of severe egg allergy, the AAP said in a
journal news release. (A severe egg allergy can include trouble
breathing and heart or GI problems, and epinephrine may be required
to treat it).
The recommendations also include the following:
- Children 6 months through 8 years old should get two doses of
the seasonal flu vaccine four weeks apart if they got none last
- Kids up to 8 years old need only one dose if they got at least
one dose last year.
- Children 9 years and up need just one dose of flu vaccine.
- Until 6 months of age, infants are too young to be
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has more
children and the flu and flu vaccination.