American Academy of Pediatrics Recommends Flu Vaccine for Everyone 6 Months and Older

September 22, 2017

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has released flu vaccine recommendations for the 2017-2018 season. In their recently published policy statement, they recommend that everyone 6 months and older should get the flu vaccine as soon as it becomes available in their area. During last year's flu season, there were more than 100 pediatric deaths across the United States. The AAP recommends that children should receive the flu vaccine before the end of October, so that they are protected when the flu reaches their community. As with the 2016-2017 season, both the AAP and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) advise against using the intranasal flu vaccine.

CDC, as well as the AAP, both agree that the flu vaccine is the single best preventative measure there is against contracting the flu virus. While there are antiviral medications that can help control the influenza virus, they are not a substitute for the flu vaccine itself. CDC recommends that all persons 6 months and older who do not have any contraindications should receive the influenza vaccination. Additionally, CDC suggests that emphasis on vaccination should be placed on the following high-risk groups:

  • Children 6-59 months
  • Adults over 50 years of age
  • Individuals with chronic pulmonary, cardiovascular, renal, hepatic, neurologic, hematologic, or metabolic disorders
  • Individuals who are immunocompromised
  • Women who are or will become pregnant
  • Residents of nursing homes
  • American Indians
  • Individuals who have a BMI of 40 or more
  • Caregivers of those at risk

Ideally, individuals should receive the flu vaccine as soon as it becomes available, and optimally, before the end of October. However, more than one outbreak may occur in a community in a single year, so as long as the vaccination is available, individuals should still get vaccinated.

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