AAP Policy Update: Recommendations for Prevention and Control of Influenza in Children, 2017-2018 – REVISION

Posted on November 01, 2017

·         UPDATE: Peramivir (RAPIVAB®), a new antiviral medication given intravenously to treat influenza, was recently licensed for children by the FDA.

·         Peramivir is now 1 of 3 antiviral medication options for children: (1) Oral Oseltamivir, (2) Inhaled Zanamivir, and (3) IV Peramivir.

·         This latest neuraminidase inhibitor extends available treatment of acute uncomplicated influenza in non-hospitalized children 2 years and older.

·         The AAP annual influenza statement, early released online on September 5th and published in print on October 1st by PEDIATRICS, has been updated online to reflect this latest treatment option with Peramivir.

The AAP has updated its recommendations for the routine use of seasonal influenza vaccine and antiviral medications for the prevention and treatment of influenza in children. 

Details appear in the policy statement, Recommendations for Prevention and Control of Influenza in Children, 2017-2018, which will be published in the October issue of Pediatrics.

Highlights of these updated recommendations include:

·         Vaccination is the best available preventive measure against influenza.

·         Annual seasonal influenza vaccine is recommended for everyone 6 months and older.

·         Both trivalent and quadrivalent inactivated influenza vaccines (no preference) are available in the US.

·         Quadrivalent live attenuated influenza vaccine (LAIV4) is not recommended for use in any setting in the US during the 2017-2018 influenza season.

·         Children should receive vaccine as soon as possible after it is available in their community, preferably by the end of October.  

·         The number of recommended doses of influenza vaccine depends on a child's age at the time of the first administered dose and vaccine history.

·         All children with egg allergy of any severity can receive influenza vaccine without any additional precautions beyond those recommended for any vaccine.  

·         Pregnant women may receive influenza vaccine at any time during pregnancy.

·         All health care personnel should receive an annual seasonal influenza vaccine, a crucial step in preventing influenza and reducing health care-associated influenza infections.

·         Antivirals are important in the control of influenza, but are not a substitute for influenza vaccination.

This policy statement expands the recommendations in the Influenza chapter in the current edition of Red Book (p 476–493).

Also refer to the updated Vaccine Status Table and Influenza Resource Page on Red Book Online, which have also been updated to reflect the 2017-2018 influenza policy statement.