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Universal Influenza Vaccination: An Optimal Goal—But How and When?

D. A. Henderson
Date posted:
September 10, 2010
Publication type:

Biosecur Bioterror 2010;8(3):219-221

Mary Ann Liebert, Inc.
Open access
See also:

Article available on publisher’s site: HTML • PDF


On June 29, 2010, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices approved detailed recommendations for the future use of influenza vaccines for preventing and controlling influenza.1 A significant change was the recommendation for ‘‘annual influenza vaccination to include all people aged 6 months and older.’’1 Past recommendations2,3 had focused on priority vaccination for an ever-increasing number of groups of people with "risk factors for influenza-related complications or having close contact with a person at high risk for influenza-related complications."4(p4) By 2009, the ever-growing list of risk groups accounted for 85% of the total population. The only group for whom routine vaccination was not then recommended were healthy, nonpregnant adults aged 18 to 49 years who did not have an occupational risk for infection and who were not close contacts of people at special risk of experiencing complications. Thus, to recommend vaccination for everyone was a logical simplification of longstanding recommendations. There is no question but that there is a benefit from vaccine protection against possible influenza infection, while the risks of adverse reactions to the vaccine are negligible. The conclusion is obvious—but how does this recommendation rank among the long list of public health problems demanding attention? No guidance has been provided.

Article available on publisher’s site: HTML • PDF



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