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BACKGROUND—Flu vaccination in
otherwise healthy infants and young children is important to prevent
severe disease, as well as to control epidemic spread of influenza infection.
AIMS—To examine the safety and immunogenicity of a paediatric presentation of a purified, inactivated, triton split influenza vaccine.
METHODS—Two doses of the vaccine, provided in prefilled syringes of 0.25 ml, were administered, one month apart, to 67 children under 3 years of age.
RESULTS—Nine cases of immediate reaction to vaccination (macules/papules) were observed after the second injection only. During the study period, 9% of children experienced at least one delayed local reaction, and 28% of children presented at least one systemic reaction. Almost all reactions were mild and transient. Immunogenicity results surpassed the European Community recommendations for a 0.50 ml dose of vaccine in adults.
CONCLUSION—This paediatric formulation of inactivated flu vaccine appears safe and immunogenic in children from 6 months to 3 years of age; the convenient presentation in a prefilled syringe of 0.25ml volume will facilitate administration of the dose recommended for young children.