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Central European Vaccination Advisory Group (CEVAG) guidance statement on recommendations for influenza vaccination in children

Vytautas Usonis1*, Ioana Anca2, Francis André3, Roman Chlibek4, Inga Ivaskeviciene1, Atanas Mangarov5, Zsófia Mészner6, Roman Prymula47, Pavol Šimurka8, Eda Tamm9 and Goran Tešović10

Author Affiliations

1 Vilnius University Clinic of Children's Diseases, Faculty of Medicine, Vilnius University, Vilnius, Lithuania

2 University of Medicine and Pharmacy - Department of Pediatrics 'Prof. Dr. Alfred Rusescu' Institute for Mother and Child Care, Bucharest, Romania

3 Chaussée de Huy, 136, 1325-Chaumont-Gistoux, Belgium

4 Faculty of Military Health Sciences, University of Defense, Hradec Králové, Czech Republic

5 Infectious Diseases Hospital, Sofia, Bulgaria

6 National Institute of Child Health, Budapest, Hungary

7 University Hospital Hradec Králové, University Hospital, Trencin, Slovakia

8 Department of Pediatrics, University Hospital, Trencin, Slovakia

9 Children's Clinic of Tartu University Hospital, Estonia

10 Department for Pediatric Infectious Diseases, University Hospital for Infectious Diseases, Zagreb, Croatia

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BMC Infectious Diseases 2010, 10:168  doi:10.1186/1471-2334-10-168

Published: 14 June 2010

Abstract

Background

Influenza vaccination in infants and children with existing health complications is current practice in many countries, but healthy children are also susceptible to influenza, sometimes with complications. The under-recognised burden of disease in young children is greater than in elderly populations and the number of paediatric influenza cases reported does not reflect the actual frequency of influenza.

Discussion

Vaccination of healthy children is not widespread in Europe despite clear demonstration of the benefits of vaccination in reducing the large health and economic burden of influenza. Universal vaccination of infants and children also provides indirect protection in other high-risk groups in the community. This paper contains the Central European Vaccination Advisory Group (CEVAG) guidance statement on recommendations for the vaccination of infants and children against influenza. The aim of CEVAG is to encourage the efficient and safe use of vaccines to prevent and control infectious diseases.

Summary

CEVAG recommends the introduction of universal influenza vaccination for all children from the age of 6 months. Special attention is needed for children up to 60 months of age as they are at greatest risk. Individual countries should decide on how best to implement this recommendation based on their circumstances.