CDC recommends two doses of flu vaccine for young children

In response to the pandemic H1N1 virus, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently recommended that unvaccinated children from the ages of six months to nine years of age be administered two doses of next autumn’s trivalent vaccine.

The Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy reported that the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices made the recommendation after a review of newly released data showing that though the vaccine provided 62 percent protection for all age groups after one dose but carried lower rates in younger children.

ACIP voted 10-5 to change the recommendation’s wording, with those voting against noting that the change could confuse parents and clinicians without adding any significant public health benefit.

The committee also advised that two doses of the seasonal flu vaccine be administered to the lower age group if parents or clinicians are unsure about the status of a child's pandemic vaccination status.

Children between the ages of 6 months to 9 years who have never been vaccinated will not be considered so unless they are given a booster shot approximately one month following their initial injection.

In addition to H1N1 protection, the 2010-2011 seasonal influenza vaccine also contains Perth H3N2 and Brisbane influenza B components.