Influenza vaccine added to childhood immunisation schedule

From September 1st, all children aged 2 or 3 years should be offered immunisation against influenza, in an extension of the existing influenza vaccination programme.

The influenza vaccine Fluenz is given as a nasal spray using a single-use applicator | SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
The influenza vaccine Fluenz is given as a nasal spray using a single-use applicator | SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) has recommended that the live attenuated intranasal vaccine Fluenz be used for childhood vaccination as it is more effective in this age group than inactivated flu vaccines.

Schedule and timing

Fluenz should be given to children between the ages of 2 and 3 prior to the flu season, ideally in September or October. In contrast to the product licence, the JCVI recommends that only a single dose be administered, as the second dose has been shown to provide only modest additional protection. However, children aged 2 to 9 years in clinical risk groups who have not previously received influenza vaccine should be offered two doses of Fluenz at least four weeks apart. Children for whom Fluenz is contraindicated should be offered an injected inactivated influenza vaccine instead.

Contraindications

Fluenz should not be given to children who:

  • are immunodeficient,
  • are hypersensitive to egg or egg proteins, or
  • have severe asthma or active wheezing.

In addition, administration should be postponed if the child has an acute febrile illness or infection.

More information on the Influenza Vaccination programme

View MIMS Routine Childhood Immunisation Schedule table

View Fluenz drug record

Follow MIMS on Twitter

Want news like this straight to your inbox?
Sign up for our bulletins

Read these next

Flu vaccines updated for 2014/15 season

Flu vaccines updated for 2014/15 season

The influenza vaccine listings in MIMS have been updated...

New vaccines for immunisation schedule: Boostrix-IPV and Infanrix-IPV+Hib

New vaccines for immunisation schedule: Boostrix-IPV and Infanrix-IPV+Hib

From 1st July 2014, Boostrix-IPV replaces Repevax for...

Seasonal flu vaccines released

Seasonal flu vaccines released

Flu vaccines have been released for the 2013/14 flu...

Rotavirus vaccination programme launched

Rotavirus vaccination programme launched

Children under four months of age are to be vaccinated...

MMR vaccine catch-up programme launched
Meningitis C immunisation timing updated
Fluenz: first intranasal influenza vaccine

Fluenz: first intranasal influenza vaccine

Fluenz, a live attenuated vaccine, is licensed for...


Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Register
Already registered?
Sign in

Register or Subscribe to MIMS

GPs can get MIMS print & online and GPonline for free when they register online – take 2 minutes, and make sure you get your free MIMS access! If you're not a GP, you can subscribe to MIMS for full access.

Register or subscribe

MIMS Dermatology

Read the latest issue online exclusively on MIMS Learning.

Read MIMS Dermatology

MIMS Adviser

Especially created for prescribing influencers.

Request free copy

Mobile apps

MIMS: access the full drug database and quick-reference tables on the go

MIMS Diagnosis and Management: concise information on signs and symptoms, investigations and diseases