The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has released a report officially recommending children should be vaccinated against the influenza virus as soon as it becomes available.
"Parents should not delay vaccinating their children to obtain a specific vaccine," said pediatrician Henry Bernstein, D.O., FAAP, the lead author of the flu recommendations. "Influenza virus is unpredictable, and what's most important is that people receive the vaccine soon, so that they will be protected when the virus begins circulating."
The AAP released the report, "Recommendations for Prevention and Control of Influenza in Children, 2013-2014," published online in the Oct. 2013 issue of Pediatrics.
According to the organization's news release, kids ages 6 months and older should be "immunized against influenza as soon as vaccine is available - either with the trivalent vaccine that protects against three strains of the virus, or with a new quadrivalent vaccine that protects against four strains."
The AAP recommends efforts in getting people vaccinated should be specifically targeted at groups with a higher risk of catching the virus.
"A special effort should be made to vaccinate people in vulnerable groups," the health organization stated in a new release. "Including children with chronic health conditions, children of American Indian or Alaskan Native heritage, health care workers, women who are pregnant, may become pregnant or are breastfeeding, and household contacts and caregivers of children in high-risk populations."
The AAP does not state a preference as to which influenza vaccine people should get, rather that it is important to get the shot. Consult your physician to see which flu vaccine is the best for you.
"Recent data show that most people who have an egg allergy can receive the inactivated influenza vaccine," AAP said. "Although inactivated vaccine given as a single, age-appropriate dose is well-tolerated by all recipients who have egg allergy, pediatricians should consult with an allergist for any child with history of a severe reaction."