The Spanish Association of Pediatrics (AEP) recommends this year, as a novelty, flu vaccination for all children between six and 59 months, as proposed by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the European Center for Prevention and Control of Diseases (ECDC).
In a press release, the Vaccine Advisory Committee of the AEP considers that “the absence of immunological stimuli due to the lack of exposure to influenza viruses in the past season could lead to a different behavior and an increase in the incidence of seasonal flu epidemic these next few months . “
This flu season will be the second to coincide with the covid-19 pandemic. The previous one occurred in the middle of the expansion phase of the SARS-CoV-2 virus throughout the world “and, given that the transmission mechanisms of this pathogen and that of influenza coincide to a large extent, the measures implemented could be behind of the near disappearance of the flu in the past season at a global level “, explains the AEP.
And that, according to the Spanish Association of Pediatricians, “has constituted an additional difficulty in choosing the viral strains that flu vaccines should contain for the current season”, in which the circumstances are very different “due to extensive vaccination and the withdrawal of measures to contain respiratory transmission “.
Who should get a flu shot this year?
The Vaccine Commission of the AEP recommends influenza vaccination in childhood and adolescence and includes as a novelty the period from 6 to 59 months. The recommendations also consider risk groups from 5 years of age and adolescents with underlying diseases or certain situations that pose an increased risk of suffering complications from the flu.
In addition, the vaccine is recommended for children from 5 years old who live with patients at risk and people who live with children under 6 months.
The AEP document suggests flu vaccination for all health professionals and pregnant women, both for their own protection and that of their future child, and at any time during pregnancy.
They also advise using quadrivalent flu vaccines, designed to protect four different viruses from the influenza virus, both inactivated for intramuscular use and attenuated nasal.