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June 21, 2022
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Influenza Information for Health Care Professionals from the American Academy of Pediatrics—Updated June 21, 2022

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) Committee on Infectious Diseases has compiled a comprehensive list of resources on influenza prevention and treatment in children and adolescents. This resource page is updated frequently. AAP member or subscriber login may be required to access some links.

 

Influenza News

Quick facts: influenza circulation, rates, hospitalizations, and more

  • Seasonal influenza activity is decreasing nationally.
  • Hospitalization rates are lower this week than the previous week. Children age 0 to 4 years have had the second-highest hospitalization rate over the course of the season.
  • Twenty-nine influenza-associated pediatric deaths have been reported in the 2021-'22 season, according to FluSurv-NET.

Learn more in the Weekly U.S. Influenza Surveillance Report.

Pediatric influenza vaccination rates lower than last season
Influenza vaccination rates for children and adolescents were slightly lower for the 2021-’22 season than for the 2020-’21 season, according to the CDC. Racial and ethnic disparities persisted with lower vaccination rates among non-Hispanic Black and Hispanic/Latino children and adolescents, compared with non-Hispanic white children and adolescents. Rates were below the US public health goal to vaccinate 70% of our population each year. (Final coverage data for the 2021-'22 influenza season will be available from the CDC in the fall.)

 

 

2020-'21
influenza season

2021-'22
influenza season

Difference (%)

Overall vaccination rate for children and adolescents, age 6 months to 17 years

57.3%

55.3%

-2

Non-Hispanic White children and adolescents

59.5%

55.1%

-4

Hispanic children and adolescents

57.4%

58%

0.6

Non-Hispanic Black children and adolescents

46.5%

47%

0.5

Other non-Hispanic children and adolescents

61%

61%

0.0

Source: https://www.cdc.gov/flu/fluvaxview/dashboard/vaccination-coverage-race.html

Vaccinate when influenza is circulating
Even in seasons when the vaccine is not an exact match with the circulating strains, those vaccinated are protected from a critical and life-threatening illness. Vaccination is the best way to prevent severe influenza disease in children and adolescents, especially those at high risk (see AAP table for a list of high-risk conditions).

Interim Estimates of 2021–22 Seasonal Influenza did not show vaccine effectiveness against mild to moderate illness from the predominantly circulating A(H3N2) virus.

Influenza antivirals recommended for those at high risk
Flu vaccination reduces severity of illness in people who get vaccinated but still get sick. And prompt antiviral treatment is recommended for individuals at higher risk for serious influenza complications. This includes young children, pregnant people, and people with health and age factors that increase their risk of severe complications from influenza (see high risk conditions in the AAP Influenza policy Table 1). The best outcomes from antiviral therapy occur with the initiation of treatment within 24 hours of symptom onset. However, the use of antivirals still should be offered beyond 48 hours in pediatric patients hospitalized with confirmed or suspected influenza, to any child with severe or progressive influenza regardless of health care setting (inpatient or outpatient), and anyone at high risk for complications (regardless of their vaccination status).

 

Additional AAP and CDC News and Resources

AAP
AAP News

Red Book Online

CDC

 

Policy & Clinical Guidance

Access information on influenza and influenza vaccination here, including links to AAP and CDC policy and clinical guidance.

From the AAP

From the CDC

 

Implementation Resources

AAP Influenza Website
Find resources to help improve communications about the importance of the influenza vaccine on the AAP Patient Care Influenza pages. You will also find tools to help promote vaccine confidence each influenza season, including:

The AAP page also links to CDC Influenza Resources such as vaccination during a pandemic, planning vaccination clinics and drive-through/curbside clinics and more.

For additional guidance on influenza, health care professionals can access the resources provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The CDC provides regular updates via its Web resources (Influenza [Flu] | CDC) and e-mail alerts (sign up here: https://www.cdc.gov/other/emailupdates/index.html).

 

Professional Education & Resources

Seasonal Influenza

Find webinars, courses, and tools on influenza planning, prevention, and control on the AAP Influenza Education and Training for Health Care Professionals page.

Visit the CDC Influenza Resources page for education resources, such as prevention strategies for seasonal influenza in health care settings.  

 

Pandemic Influenza
AAP

CDC

 

Social Media Resources

Share messages on the importance of influenza vaccination. Find graphics, videos and other social media resources from the AAP and CDC, including a Flu Campaign Toolkit, Immunizations Campaign Toolkit, and CDC Seasonal Influenza Communications.

 

Patient Education

Influenza Resources for Families

Find parent-friendly articles about influenza and the flu vaccine on the HealthyChildren.org Flu site in English and Spanish. Also available from the AAP are influenza fact sheets for families in multiple languages.

 


Influenza Images on Red Book Online

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