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04 Oct 2012
Seasonal influenza vaccination for children and pregnant women news image
This newly published technical report aims to help EU Member States in making policy decisions on routine vaccination of healthy children and pregnant women with seasonal influenza vaccine. The options presented in the document are based on a systematic review of scientific literature and opinions of a group of independent experts.
The document evaluates important factors in the decision making, such as burden of disease, vaccine effectiveness and vaccine safety, and explores advantages and disadvantages of several vaccine strategy options:
 
• Universal immunisation of all children aged six months to 18 years
• Universal immunisation of children aged six months to four years
• Targeted immunisation of all children aged six months to 18 years with known risk factors
• Annual influenza vaccination of all pregnant women without contraindications to vaccination
 
The systematic review summarises data on burden of seasonal and pandemic influenza (e.g. incidence, hospitalisations, mortality, and complications) and safety, efficacy, effectiveness and cost effectiveness of available seasonal and pandemic influenza vaccines in children and pregnant women.  The scientific panel of international experts was held in the summer of 2011. In addition, the document identifies a number of important gaps particularly on the burden of severe disease in young children and pregnant women due to seasonal influenza in Europe. Specific recommendations are made on how to close these gaps notably on severe influenza disease surveillance in Europe.   
 
In accordance with its mission, ECDC continues to collect, evaluate and disseminate relevant scientific and technical data and provide scientific opinions and guidance.
 
Resources:
Seasonal influenza vaccines
Seasonal influenza health topic
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