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Should I Immunise my child against Flu

Recommendations for influenza vaccine for children vary between countries. The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices within the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention in the U.S. recommends annual vaccination for all children aged 6 months to 18 years. Influenza infection rates are generally higher in children. The greatest benefits are seen in vaccinating children at high risk of influenza or its complications. However, healthy children are the major cause of the spread of influenza in the community and vaccination of this population can substantially reduce the spread of influenza and related costs. The Ministry of Health in New Zealand offers free influenza vaccination to children from six months of age who have certain chronic medical conditions.


The following group of children eligible for funded free influenza vaccine (2013)

  • Children aged four and under who have been hospitalised for respiratory illness or have a history of a significant respiratoty illness.
  • Anyone aged 6 months to under 65 years with a medical condition that increases their risk of acquiring influenza or developing complications from influenza:
    • Cardiovascular disease (ischaemic heart disease, congestive heart disease, rheumatic heart disease, congenital heart disease, cerebrovascular disease).
    • Chronic respiratory disease (asthma if on regular preventive therapy; other chronic respiratory disease with impaired lung function).
    • Diabetes.
    • Chronic renal disease.
    • Cancer (patient currently has cancer), excluding basal and squamous skin cancer if not invasive.
    • Other conditions (autoimmune disease, immune suppression, human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), transplant recipients, neuromuscular and central nervous system diseases, haemoglobinopathies and children on long term aspirin).

Article sourced from http://www.immune.org.nz.