The CDC recommends all children aged 6 months and up get the seasonal flu vaccine each year. The vaccine isn't approved for itty-bitty babies, but new research from University of Washington, Seattle, shows that it may be safe and effective for infants as young as 6 weeks. From HealthDay News:
In this study, the researchers randomly assigned 1,375 healthy infants to receive either two doses of the standard trivalent seasonal flu vaccine (protects against three strains of circulating flu virus) or a placebo vaccine. The vaccines were given one month apart, in combination with standard recommended infant vaccines.
No differences were seen between the two groups of infants in terms of side effects or adverse events. About 11 percent of infants in both groups developed a fever within three days after vaccination. In the month after vaccination, serious adverse events related to the trivalent vaccine were rare, according to the study.
The vaccinated infants also developed the appropriate protective antibodies.
Authors of the study, which appears in the February issue of the Pediatric Infectious Disease Journal, say more research is needed. But they said these early findings suggest that the flu vaccine could safely be included in standard vaccinations for younger babies.