Influenza viruses continue to cause disease of varying severity among humans. People with underlying disease and the elderly are at increased risk of developing severe disease after infection with an influenza virus. As effective and safe vaccines are available, the WHO has recommended vaccinating these groups against influenza annually. In addition to this recommendation, public health authorities of a number of countries have recently recommended vaccinating all healthy children aged 6-59 months against influenza. Here, we review the currently available data concerning the burden of disease in children, the economical impact of implementing universal vaccination of children, the efficacy of currently available influenza virus vaccines, the theoretical concerns regarding preventing immunity otherwise induced by infections with seasonal influenza viruses, and finally, how to address these concerns.

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Future Microbiology
Department of Virology

Fraaij, P.L.A, Bodewes, R, Osterhaus, A.D.M.E, & Rimmelzwaan, G.F. (2011). The ins and outs of universal childhood influenza vaccination. Future Microbiology (Vol. 6, pp. 1171–1184). doi:10.2217/fmb.11.106