Caring for Our Children (CFOC)

Chapter 7: Infectious Diseases

7.3 Respiratory Tract Infections

7.3.3 Influenza Influenza Immunizations for Children and Caregivers/Teachers

The parent/guardian of each child six months of age and older should provide written documentation of current annual vaccination against influenza unless there is a medical contraindication or philosophical or religious objection. Children who are too young to receive influenza vaccine before the start of influenza season should be immunized annually beginning when they reach six months of age.

Staff caring for all children should receive annual vaccination against influenza. Ideally people should be vaccinated before the start of the influenza season (as early as August or September) and immunization should continue through March or April.

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) recommend that influenza vaccination of all children, begins at six months of age, and adolescents and adults begin before or during the influenza season. Children who are at high risk of influenza complications and respiratory tract infections such as influenza commonly are scattered in out-of-home child care settings. The risk of complications from influenza is greater among children less than two years of age. Infants less than six months of age represent a particularly vulnerable group because they are too young to receive the vaccine. Therefore, people responsible for caring for these children should be immunized (1,2).

Seasonal influenza vaccine should be offered to all children as soon as the vaccine is available, even as early as August or September; a protective response to immunization remains throughout the influenza season. Immunization efforts should continue throughout the entire influenza season, even after influenza activity has been documented in a community. Each influenza season often extends well into March and beyond, and there may be more than one peak of activity in the same season. Thus, immunization through at least May 1st can still protect recipients during that particular season and also provide ample opportunity to administer a second dose of vaccine to children requiring two doses in that season (1).

Children who are too young to receive the influenza vaccine before the start of influenza season should be immunized when they reach six months of age, if influenza vaccination is still recommended at that time. Child contacts who are vaccine-eligible should be vaccinated.

Center, Early Head Start, Head Start, Large Family Child Care Home, Small Family Child Care Home
RELATED STANDARDS Influenza Control Influenza Prevention Education
  1. American Academy of Pediatrics, Committee on Infectious Disease. 2010. Recommendations for prevention and control of influenza in children, 2010-2011. Pediatrics 126:816-28.
  2. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 2010. Update: Recommendations of the ACIP regarding use of CSL seasonal influenza vaccine (Afluria) in the United States during 2010-2011. MMWR 59 (31): 989-92.