Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Spring-fall flu shots safe, protect children

04.10.2004


Giving flu vaccine to toddlers in the spring and fall guards against infection and is easier on parents than the fall schedule of two doses administered a month apart, found researchers from Duke University Medical Center and the University of Washington.



The study compared the immune response in toddlers aged six to 23 months who received a flu shot in the spring and one in the fall, to the response of those who received fall shots separated by one month. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention this year issued a recommendation for flu vaccination for all children in this age group. Children given spring-fall shots – up to six months apart – were as well-protected as those who received two shots in the fall, the study showed. The spring-fall group also completed their immunization earlier than toddlers in the fall group. A survey of parents showed 66 percent preferred the spring-fall schedule.

The results were presented Oct. 2, 2004, at the annual meeting of the Infectious Diseases Society of America. The study was sponsored by an unrestricted grant from Aventis Pasteur, which manufactures flu vaccine. "Kids less than two years old have a higher risk of significant complications from flu that require hospitalization. Trying to get them all in for their shots in fall is logistically tough and not necessarily convenient for parents. If we can get more kids immunized by making the schedule more convenient for parents, then we’ll prevent more severe flu complications," said Emmanuel Walter, M.D., associate professor of pediatrics at Duke University Medical Center.


In the trial, the spring dose given during the study was the 2002-2003 vaccine and the fall dose was the 2003-2004 vaccine. Both vaccines coincidently had similar antigen components. Antigens are substances that stimulate an immune response. This year, the researchers will compare the immune protection afforded by the spring-fall schedule when the inactivated flu vaccine changes significantly from year to year. Toddlers enrolled in the study this spring received the 2003-2004 vaccine and will receive the 2004-2005 vaccine this fall. "I don’t want practitioners to adopt this until the study is complete because we have not tested this schedule when the vaccine antigens changed from year to year. The key result will be what happens this year when the antigens change," Walter said.

The CDC recommends that children younger than nine years old should receive two doses of inactivated flu vaccine if not previously vaccinated, because they do not develop a strong immune response to a single dose. Physicians are advised to administer the two shots one month apart. This dosing schedule strains the capacity of primary care centers and may delay full vaccination for children until flu season is already underway, Walter said.

Children in the standard fall group completed their immunizations two months later than the spring-fall group during the study. Ninety-five percent of children in the spring-fall group received two doses by Oct. 2, while 95 percent of those in the standard group finished two doses by Dec. 2.

Vaccinating children less than two years old is especially important because they are more likely to develop flu complications requiring hospitalization. For example, gastrointestinal symptoms such as nausea, vomiting and diarrhea are much more common in children than adults. Children are also contagious longer than adults, shedding virus for more than a week. "This new schedule could potentially increase rates of influenza immunization in young children, a group at high risk for complications of influenza," said Janet Englund, M.D., associate professor of pediatrics at the University of Washington and Children’s Hospital and Regional Medical Center.

Closely-spaced clinic visits can also be inconvenient for parents. A survey of parents who participated in the study found 66 percent preferred the spring-fall schedule to the standard schedule. Eight percent had no preference, and 26 percent preferred the standard two doses in fall. "Providing influenza vaccine to children at the same time as other childhood vaccines on a spring-fall schedule was preferred by parents and decreased their number of office visits," Englund said.

The study also examined flu vaccine safety in young children. There were no severe adverse events associated with the vaccine during the study. The most common side effects were irritability, sleep change, low grade fever and pain and tenderness at the injection site. There were no differences in side effects between the spring-fall group and the standard fall dose group of toddlers. "This suggests the vaccine is pretty well-tolerated in this age group," Walters said.

Co-authors on the study include Mary Fairchok, M.D. of the Madigan Army Medical Center in Tacoma, Wash.; Kathleen Neuzil, M.D., University of Washington; and Arnold Monto, M.D., University of Michigan.

Becky Oskin | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.duke.edu

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Second cause of hidden hearing loss identified
20.02.2017 | Michigan Medicine - University of Michigan

nachricht Prospect for more effective treatment of nerve pain
20.02.2017 | Universität Zürich

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: Breakthrough with a chain of gold atoms

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

Im Focus: DNA repair: a new letter in the cell alphabet

Results reveal how discoveries may be hidden in scientific “blind spots”

Cells need to repair damaged DNA in our genes to prevent the development of cancer and other diseases. Our cells therefore activate and send “repair-proteins”...

Im Focus: Dresdner scientists print tomorrow’s world

The Fraunhofer IWS Dresden and Technische Universität Dresden inaugurated their jointly operated Center for Additive Manufacturing Dresden (AMCD) with a festive ceremony on February 7, 2017. Scientists from various disciplines perform research on materials, additive manufacturing processes and innovative technologies, which build up components in a layer by layer process. This technology opens up new horizons for component design and combinations of functions. For example during fabrication, electrical conductors and sensors are already able to be additively manufactured into components. They provide information about stress conditions of a product during operation.

The 3D-printing technology, or additive manufacturing as it is often called, has long made the step out of scientific research laboratories into industrial...

Im Focus: Mimicking nature's cellular architectures via 3-D printing

Research offers new level of control over the structure of 3-D printed materials

Nature does amazing things with limited design materials. Grass, for example, can support its own weight, resist strong wind loads, and recover after being...

Im Focus: Three Magnetic States for Each Hole

Nanometer-scale magnetic perforated grids could create new possibilities for computing. Together with international colleagues, scientists from the Helmholtz Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) have shown how a cobalt grid can be reliably programmed at room temperature. In addition they discovered that for every hole ("antidot") three magnetic states can be configured. The results have been published in the journal "Scientific Reports".

Physicist Dr. Rantej Bali from the HZDR, together with scientists from Singapore and Australia, designed a special grid structure in a thin layer of cobalt in...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Booth and panel discussion – The Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings at the AAAS 2017 Annual Meeting

13.02.2017 | Event News

Complex Loading versus Hidden Reserves

10.02.2017 | Event News

International Conference on Crystal Growth in Freiburg

09.02.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Start codons in DNA may be more numerous than previously thought

21.02.2017 | Life Sciences

An alternative to opioids? Compound from marine snail is potent pain reliever

21.02.2017 | Life Sciences

Warming ponds could accelerate climate change

21.02.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>