Pediatrics

Recommendations for Prevention and Control of Influenza in Children, 2020-2021




This statement updates the recommendations of the American Academy of Pediatrics for the routine use of influenza vaccine and antiviral medications in the prevention and treatment of influenza in children during the 2020–2021 season.

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends routine influenza immunization of all children without medical contraindications, starting at 6 months of age. Influenza vaccination is an important intervention to protect vulnerable populations and reduce the burden of respiratory illnesses during the severe acute respiratory syndrome-coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) pandemic. Any licensed, recommended, age-appropriate vaccine available can be administered, without preference for one product or formulation over another.

Antiviral treatment of influenza with any licensed, recommended, age-appropriate influenza antiviral medication is recommended for children with suspected or confirmed influenza who are hospitalized, have severe or progressive disease, or have underlying conditions that increase their risk of complications of influenza. Antiviral treatment may be considered for any previously healthy, symptomatic outpatient not at high risk for influenza complications in whom an influenza diagnosis is confirmed or suspected, if treatment can be initiated within 48 hours of illness onset, and for children whose siblings or household contacts either are younger than 6 months or have a high-risk condition that predisposes them to complications of influenza.

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