Which Children Need Two Doses of Influenza Vaccine for the 201011 Season?

October 2010

Technically Speaking
Monthly Column by Deborah Wexler, MD
Deborah Wexler MD
Technically Speaking is a monthly column written by IAC’s Executive Director Deborah Wexler, MD. The column is featured in The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia Vaccine Education Center’s (VEC’s) monthly e-newsletter for healthcare professionals. Technically Speaking columns cover practical topics in immunization delivery such as needle length, vaccine administration, cold chain, and immunization schedules.
Check out a recent issue of Vaccine Update for Healthcare Providers. The VEC e-newsletter keeps providers up to date on vaccine-related issues and includes reviews of recently published journal articles, media recaps, announcements about new resources, and a regularly updated calendar of events.
Which Children Need Two Doses of Influenza Vaccine for the 2010-11 Season?
Published October 2010
Information presented in this article may have changed since the original publication date. For the most current immunization recommendations from the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, visit www.immunize.org/acip/acip_vax.asp.
One of the challenges in influenza vaccine administration this fall is determining which children should be given two doses. This year’s recommendations for which children need two doses differ from previous years. Even though two influenza vaccines were available last year (2009 H1N1 vaccine and seasonal vaccine), this year, one influenza vaccine protects against the influenza viruses expected to circulate.
According to ACIP, the following children ages 6 months through 8 years need two doses of influenza vaccine in the 2010-11 influenza season
Those who are receiving influenza vaccine for the first time
Those who failed to get at least 1 dose of 2009 H1N1 vaccine in the previous year
Those who received their first dose of seasonal vaccine during the 2009-10 season but failed to get their second dose
Those with uncertain influenza vaccination histories
When administering a two-dose series, you can give two doses of injectable vaccine, or two doses of nasal-spray vaccine, or one of each. Just be sure that the two doses are spaced at least 4 weeks apart.
Knowing which children need two doses of influenza vaccine has often been a challenge for healthcare professionals, but this year it’s even more complex. For this reason, CDC and the Immunization Action Coalition (IAC) have developed the following resource materials to help you:
CDC has developed a flow chart to help you determine how many doses are needed based on the child’s previous vaccination history.
IAC presents the same information as an easy-to-read table


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