The rational use of influenza vaccines in healthy children and children with underlying conditions

Susanna Esposito, Nicola Principi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


PURPOSE OF REVIEW: This review discusses why influenza should be considered an important clinical problem even in healthy children, and what can be expected from the use of influenza vaccines in pediatrics. RECENT FINDINGS: It has been demonstrated that not only children with an underlying disease but also otherwise healthy children can suffer from severe influenza. The greatest clinical problems arise during the first 23 months of life, but a substantial number of children aged 2-5 years and more than 5 years can die or be hospitalized. This suggests that adequate prophylactic measures should be planned for all children, regardless of their age. An influenza vaccination can be administered using a trivalent inactivated influenza virus or live attenuated influenza virus vaccine, and in both cases seems to be highly cost-effective. However, the actual use of influenza vaccines in children continues to be less than officially recommended. SUMMARY: Influenza is a clinical problem for children at risk because of underlying disease and previously healthy children. Effective vaccines are currently available, and their extensive pediatric use seems to be associated with significant clinical and socioeconomic advantages.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)244-249
Number of pages6
JournalCurrent Opinion in Infectious Diseases
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2009


  • Children
  • Influenza
  • Influenza vaccination
  • Prevention
  • Vaccine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Infectious Diseases
  • Microbiology (medical)


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