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Starting Flu Vaccination in August Could Help Protect Nearly 11 Million More Children During Scheduled Doctors' Visits
Date:5/5/2008

HONOLULU, May 5 /PRNewswire/ -- Research presented at the annual meeting of the Pediatric Academic Societies (PAS) shows that by starting flu vaccinations in August -- ahead of the start of the typical flu vaccination season -- healthcare providers could reach an additional 10.7 million children when these children are already in the doctor's office. The potential impact of early vaccination was underscored by another study that found that less than 20 percent of school-aged children between five and 18 years of age were vaccinated in their pediatricians' offices during the past influenza season. This study also showed that, on average, only about 40 percent of those children recommended to receive two doses of influenza vaccine actually received the second dose.

(Photo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20080505/NEM076 )

In February, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) voted to expand flu vaccination recommendations to include all children six months through 18 years of age. Previously, the recommendations were for vaccination of children from six months to 59 months of age. The new guidelines add approximately 30 million children to the recommended pediatric population to be vaccinated annually against influenza.

"MedImmune is committed to doing all it can to support the ACIP's expanded influenza vaccination recommendations and to work toward our common goal to vaccinate more children against the flu each year," said John Trizzino, vice president, vaccines. "The data presented at the PAS meeting highlight the need to use every possible opportunity to improve vaccination rates and compliance, including vaccinating children when they visit their healthcare providers for back-to-school check-ups and sports physicals. We are focused on delivering FluMist(R) (Influenza Virus Vaccine Live, In
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SOURCE MedImmune
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