1CeVEAS, Centro per la Valutazione dell’Efficacia dell’Assistenza Sanitaria, Azienda USL di Modena
2Unità Operativa di Pediatria, Ospedale di Ravenna
Key words: Influenza vaccine, Healthy children, Viral respiratory infections, Guidelines, Clinical trials
At the beginning of the 2003-2004 influenza season a debate gained the media attention during few weeks, focusing the attention of Italian pediatricians and Italian families. Groups and associations of Italian pediatricians advocated for universal vaccination against influenza virus for all children irrespective to their general health condition. In this article we collect and present the available evidence on this topic, in particular on the epidemiology of influenza and influenza-like syndrome, and on the efficacy, effectiveness and side effects of influenza vaccination on children. We conclude that there is no evidence to support such a policy, on the contrary the sparse available data are against it. We hope that a clear presentation of the evidence can help to conduct the discussion in a more scientific and less emotional way.
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