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Childhood Influenza Immunization Coalition Applauds Expanded Influenza Vaccine Recommendation for Children
Date:2/27/2008

All children 6 months to 18 years of age recommended for annual vaccination

ATLANTA, Feb. 27 /PRNewswire/ -- The National Foundation for Infectious Diseases' Childhood Influenza Immunization Coalition (CIIC) is pleased to support today's vote by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) to expand the influenza vaccine recommendation for children 6 months up to 18 years of age. This recommendation is to be implemented as soon as feasible and no later than the 2009/10 influenza season.

"Each season many children remain vulnerable to the consequences of not being vaccinated against influenza," said Richard H. Carmona, M.D., M.P.H., FACS, CIIC Chair, 17th Surgeon General of the United States (2002-2006), President of Canyon Ranch Institute and Distinguished Professor of Public Health, The University of Arizona Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health. "We hope this expanded vaccination recommendation will strongly encourage Americans to get an annual influenza vaccination as soon as vaccine becomes available in their communities. This will help in reducing the number of childhood hospitalizations and deaths from influenza each season."

Influenza is a serious and potentially deadly disease that spreads very easily. Anyone can get influenza, but rates of infection are highest among children. Currently, the recommendation calls for annual vaccination of children 6 months up to 5 years of age. Vaccination is especially beneficial to both children and adults with certain chronic medical conditions like asthma, diabetes, heart disease and compromised immune systems. Not only are children at risk for influenza when unvaccinated, but infected children often transmit influenza to other vulnerable populations, such as grandparents and other caregivers age 50 and over. An expanded vaccination recommendation means greater protection for children and for the community at large.

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SOURCE The National Foundation for Infectious Diseases
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