March, 2016 – American Academy of Pediatrics
For more information, see the AAP Red Book Online Influenza Resource page and the CDC FluView. The Protect Children from Influenza infographic identifies actions pediatricians can take to help protect children, especially those at highest risk. All “What’s the Latest with the Flu” messages are archived. Members of the AAP also have access to Flu Vaccine Recommendations Speaking Points and updates related to the 2015-16 Influenza Vaccine Supply. Also see “What’s the Latest with the Flu” messages for child care providers in English and Spanish. – 2015-2016 Flu Activity is on the Rise
continues to increase across the US. In recent weeks, Influenza A (H1N1) viruses have been predominant. The viruses circulating in communities appear to be well matched with the strains included in this season’s trivalent and quadrivalent influenza vaccines. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has reported preliminary overall influenza vaccine effectiveness of 59% percent this season
, which is comparable to previous seasons where most circulating flu viruses have been similar to the strains in the flu vaccine. It is important to continue to recommend influenza vaccination to our patients and ensure complete vaccination of young children. 28 deaths in children from influenza have been reported this flu season.
On February 16, 2016, the CDC Clinician Outreach and Communication Activity (COCA) hosted a webinar titled “2015-2016 Influenza Activity and Clinical Recommendations
.” During this webinar, clinicians learned about 2015-2016 influenza activity, heard an overview of current recommendations for vaccination and antiviral medications, and gained insight into data supporting the recommendations. An archived version of the webinar, a transcript, and presentation materials are available online
National Infant Immunization Week
National Infant Immunization Week
(NIIW) is slated for April 16-23, 2016. This special week provides an opportunity for clinicians to double-check that all children (especially those at high risk of complications) are immunized for influenza this year.
It is not too late for a child to receive the flu vaccine this season. Remember, if a child received two or more doses of trivalent or quadrivalent vaccine prior to July 1, 2015, he or she only needs one dose of influenza vaccine this year. If the child did not receive two or more doses prior to July 1, 2015, or if the child’s influenza vaccine history is not clear, two doses should be given this year at a four-week interval. See the current AAP guidance, “Recommendations for Prevention and Control of Influenza in Children, 2015–2016
”, for more information.
National Infant Immunization Week also provides an opportunity to review patient records to identify babies who were previously too young to get flu vaccine, but who are now at least 6 months of age. To protect children still younger than 6 months of age (who are too young to get the vaccine), immunize siblings, adults who are caregivers, and other close contacts to reduce their risk of contagion. This strategy is called cocooning. If you do not vaccinate adults in your office, direct them to their medical home or to a nearby immunization site.
Finally, this week offers a chance to discuss the timing and importance of flu vaccination during the upcoming 2016-2017 influenza season. Conversations now will help clarify any questions parents may have about the influenza vaccine later. Consider sharing the new infographic “For Families: Prevent the Spread of Influenza in Children
” with families.
Planning for the 2016-17 Season
Planning for the next flu season is underway. The recommended composition of the 2016-2017 influenza strains were recently announced. This recommendation differs slightly from the 2015-2016 vaccine. The World Health Organization (WHO) recommended that the trivalent vaccine contain:
- A/California/7/2009 (H1N1) pdm09-like virus
- A/Hong Kong/4801/2014 (H3N2)-like virus NEW, and
- B/Brisbane/60/2008-like virus
The quadrivalent vaccine recommendation includes an additional B virus (B/Phuket/3073/2013-like virus). Last year, the B/Phuket/3073/2013-like virus was included in the trivalent vaccine, with the B/Brisbane/60/2008-like virus only appearing in the quadrivalent vaccine.
The CDC Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) has no preferential recommendation for trivalent or quadrivalent vaccine. The ACIP also has indicated that any age-appropriate vaccine can be given to someone with an egg allergy of any severity. See the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) article “CDC Committee: LAIV Safe for Those with Egg Allergy” for more information. The AAP guidance for next year’s flu season is expected to be released by early fall.
For more information, see the AAP Red Book Online Influenza Resource page and the CDC FluView. The Protect Children from Influenza infographic identifies actions pediatricians can take to help protect children, especially those at highest risk. All “What’s the Latest with the Flu” messages are archived. Members of the AAP also have access to Flu Vaccine Recommendations Speaking Points and updates related to the 2015-16 Influenza Vaccine Supply. Also see “What’s the Latest with the Flu” messages for child care providers in English and Spanish.