SUNDAY, 10/28/1988 – Is the flu vaccine reduced every year to protect children?
Absolutely not, say researchers who could not reduce the shot of last year in any way.
The conclusion follows for three years in which the efficacy of influenza vaccination was studied in nearly 3,400 children aged 2 to 17 years. The findings confirm current recommendations that children be vaccinated against the flu each year] "Even healthy children can become seriously ill and die from the flu," study author Huong McLean warned. She is a research fellow at the Center for Clinical Epidemiology and Population Health at Marshfield Clinic Research Institute, Wisconsin.
In addition, "the timing and severity of any flu season is unpredictable," McLean said. "The number of children in the US who die from the flu every season varies between about 37 and over 1
Regarding the idea that annual shots could somehow be exaggerated, the study clearly showed that "prior vaccination was not associated with reduced vaccine effectiveness," McLean said.
So she added, "getting the flu vaccine every year is the best way to protect against the flu."
The study results were published online on October 26 in the JAMA Network Open.
Earlier this fall, data released by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention revealed that last year's flu season killed an estimated 80,000 Americans, 183 of them children. These numbers represent the highest flu death rate in 40 years.
The CDC recommends that all Americans aged 6 months and older receive a yearly flu vaccine, except for those who have allergies to one or more ingredients found in the vaccines, or for those with a history of a severe debilitating disease known as Guillain-Barre syndrome.
As far as the protective effect of the shot is concerned, the ingestion of a flu vaccine reduces the risk of a child suffering from influenza by more than half (51 percent), according to the CDC. This reflects data on four influenza seasons from 2010 to 2014.
For the most recent study, about half of pediatric participants – with an average age of nearly seven years – received one of two flu vaccines in 2013: either the live attenuated influenza vaccine or the inactivated influenza vaccine
Ultimately, the team noted that children who had been vaccinated the year before in 2012 had a stronger LAIV protection against influenza, H3N2, in 2013. compared with those who had not been vaccinated the previous year.
LAIV protection against another influenza type, H1N1, was not affected by previous vaccination histories, according to the report, in one way or another.
And these children who received a flu shot in 2012 did not have any impact on the protective effect of the 2013 IIV shot on both types of flu.
The same flu protection efficacy pattern continued in the next two years. The seasons found the investigators.
While McLean encouraged parents to speak to their pediatrician if they had any questions or interests, he emphasized that "the flu vaccine is safe for both children and adults." She said she had taken protective measures for weeks to get a shot and noted that "parents love their children like that should be vaccinated as soon as possible so that they are protected from the start of the flu season. "
Dr. Alicia Fry is Head of the Epidemiology and Prevention Unit of the CDC Department of Influenza. She said that the latest study is one of the few that specifically addresses the annual flu vaccine in children.
The results are "reassuring and support the current influenza vaccine policy," said Fry.
Influenza vaccination has proven to be life-saving in children. CDC recommends that the annual flu shot remains the first and most important step towards protection against the flu and its complications, "added Fry.
More on flu shot recommendations at US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention  Copyright © 2018 HealthDay, All Rights Reserved.