Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Report finds inactivated influenza virus vaccines effective in children

19.02.2004


Every winter inevitably brings with it the flu season, but kids don’t inevitably have to contract the flu, according to an article in the March 1 issue of Clinical Infectious Diseases, now available online. The report, which reviews the results of multiple studies on the effects of influenza vaccine on children, indicates that "killed" influenza vaccine is a safe and effective method to reduce the rate of influenza in children as young as 6 months old.



Killed or split-virus influenza vaccine refers to an inactive form of the flu virus in vaccine form, which is safe even for children with high-risk conditions, such as asthma, immunodeficiency, or chronic heart or lung conditions. Live virus influenza vaccine, containing a weakened form of the virus, is extremely effective in protecting people against the flu, but may have side effects in high-risk patients, and is not recommended for anyone under 5 or over 49 years old. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) will officially begin recommending killed virus flu vaccine for children aged 6-23 months this fall.

According to the review, a flu vaccination can literally pay off in the long run. There is evidence that averting illness by vaccinating kids can save $10-$25 per child, compared to the cost of treating unvaccinated children who develop the flu. Vaccinating children against the flu may also protect adults from getting infected. Influenza can spread like wildfire through a school, where unvaccinated children are in close contact with each other, and then be carried home to infect family members, but children who are vaccinated may keep the virus from ever reaching their parents.


Despite the apparent benefits, relatively few people get their children vaccinated against the flu. "The knowledge of influenza causing problems in children is very new," said Dr. Frederick Ruben, lead author of the article and noted influenza expert. "It’s not as benign a germ as has been appreciated in the past." In serious cases, flu can cause neurologic damage, paralysis and even death in children, added Dr. Ruben, who is director of Scientific and Medical Affairs for Aventis Pasteur, a vaccine manufacturer. Recent new research has shown that influenza in children is a critical matter and can lead to hospitalization rates comparable to those of elderly people with the flu.

"Deaths and hospitalizations [from the flu] are still rare, but the disease is a common one," said Dr. Kathleen Neuzil, author of an editorial commentary on Dr. Ruben’s article, also in the March 1 issue of Clinical Infectious Diseases. "I think a lot of parents don’t realize that children can even get the vaccine." Oftentimes, it doesn’t occur to many adults to get themselves vaccinated, either, since flu vaccination drives frequently target elderly people or other high-risk groups, she added.

The severity of the latest flu season has at least started to make people aware of the dangers. News media coverage has spurred some parents to bring their children in for vaccinations, said Dr. Ruben. Public health campaigns would also make a difference in getting more children vaccinated against the flu, according to Dr. Neuzil. "In this country, we should have a very permissive attitude toward influenza vaccine," she said. "If you’re 6 months and older, the vaccine is available to you, you can get it, and it can prevent influenza."

Dr. Ruben anticipates that, as physicians become more informed about the safety and availability of killed-virus flu vaccine, they will notify and encourage pediatric patients to get vaccinated. "Killed vaccines are the most important tool we have," said Dr. Ruben.


Founded in 1979, Clinical Infectious Diseases publishes clinical articles twice monthly in a variety of areas of infectious disease, and is one of the most highly regarded journals in this specialty. It is published under the auspices of IDSA. Based in Alexandria, Virginia, IDSA is a professional society representing more than 7,500 physicians and scientists who specialize in infectious diseases. For more information, visit http://www.idsociety.org.

One of the authors is affiliated with the vaccine manufacturer Aventis

Diana Olson | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.idsociety.org

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Spanish scientists create a 3-D bioprinter to print human skin
24.01.2017 | Carlos III University of Madrid

nachricht Tracking movement of immune cells identifies key first steps in inflammatory arthritis
23.01.2017 | Massachusetts General Hospital

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Scientists spin artificial silk from whey protein

X-ray study throws light on key process for production

A Swedish-German team of researchers has cleared up a key process for the artificial production of silk. With the help of the intense X-rays from DESY's...

Im Focus: Quantum optical sensor for the first time tested in space – with a laser system from Berlin

For the first time ever, a cloud of ultra-cold atoms has been successfully created in space on board of a sounding rocket. The MAIUS mission demonstrates that quantum optical sensors can be operated even in harsh environments like space – a prerequi-site for finding answers to the most challenging questions of fundamental physics and an important innovation driver for everyday applications.

According to Albert Einstein's Equivalence Principle, all bodies are accelerated at the same rate by the Earth's gravity, regardless of their properties. This...

Im Focus: Traffic jam in empty space

New success for Konstanz physicists in studying the quantum vacuum

An important step towards a completely new experimental access to quantum physics has been made at University of Konstanz. The team of scientists headed by...

Im Focus: How gut bacteria can make us ill

HZI researchers decipher infection mechanisms of Yersinia and immune responses of the host

Yersiniae cause severe intestinal infections. Studies using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model organism aim to elucidate the infection mechanisms of these...

Im Focus: Interfacial Superconductivity: Magnetic and superconducting order revealed simultaneously

Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.

While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Sustainable Water use in Agriculture in Eastern Europe and Central Asia

19.01.2017 | Event News

12V, 48V, high-voltage – trends in E/E automotive architecture

10.01.2017 | Event News

2nd Conference on Non-Textual Information on 10 and 11 May 2017 in Hannover

09.01.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Breaking the optical bandwidth record of stable pulsed lasers

24.01.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Choreographing the microRNA-target dance

24.01.2017 | Life Sciences

Spanish scientists create a 3-D bioprinter to print human skin

24.01.2017 | Health and Medicine

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>