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Which Children Need Two Doses of Influenza Vaccine for the 20112012 Season?

November 2011

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 2011-2012 Season?
Published November 2011
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
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has simplified its guidance about which children age 6 months through 8 years need two doses of influenza vaccine during the current (2011–12) influenza vaccination season:
Any influenza vaccine received before the 2010–11 season (i.e., last season) should be ignored when trying to determine the number of doses needed in 2011–12.
Children who received no influenza vaccine (or for whom there is no record of receiving vaccine) last season should receive TWO doses given at least 4 weeks apart.
Children who received at least one dose of influenza vaccine last season should receive ONE dose. This recommendation takes into account the fact that the 3 strains found in this season’s vaccine are the same as those included in last season’s (i.e., 2010-11) vaccine.
The following information may be helpful:
Guidance on number of doses for children
Handout from Immunization Action Coalition (IAC): Guides for determining the number of doses of influenza vaccine to give to children ages 6 months through 8 years during the 2011–12 influenza season
Influenza information for healthcare professionals
IAC’s influenza handouts web section
CDC’s influenza website
National Influenza Vaccine Summit website


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