Vaccination of Healthy Children Against Seasonal Influenza: A European Perspective

The Pediatric Infectious Disease Journal
August 2013 – Volume 32 – Issue 8  pp: A15-A16,e314-e347,805-929
http://journals.lww.com/pidj/pages/currenttoc.aspx

Vaccination of Healthy Children Against Seasonal Influenza: A European Perspective
Heikkinen, Terho; Tsolia, Maria; Finn, Adam
Pediatric Infectious Disease Journal. 32(8):881-888, August 2013.
doi: 10.1097/INF.0b013e3182918168

Abstract:
Despite ample evidence for the great burden that annual influenza epidemics place on children and society in general, few European countries currently recommend influenza vaccination of healthy children of any age. The most frequently cited reasons for reluctance to extend general vaccine recommendations to children include the view that influenza is a mild illness of limited clinical importance, lack of country-specific data on disease burden, uncertainty about the efficacy and safety of influenza vaccines in children and inadequate evidence of cost-effectiveness of vaccinating children. In recent years, several clinical studies have provided new and important information that help address many of these areas of question and concern. In light of this newly available scientific evidence, influenza vaccine recommendations for children should be properly reevaluated in all European countries. Furthermore, to allow for variation in costs and patterns of healthcare delivery between different countries, cost-effectiveness analyses of influenza vaccination of healthy children should be performed in each country or region. Finally, increased efforts should be made to educate both healthcare professionals and the great public about recent findings and advances in the field of pediatric influenza.