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Is influenza vaccination in asthmatic children helpful?

Authors


H. J. Bueving, Department of General Practice, Erasmus MC – University Medical Center Rotterdam, Room Ff317, PO Box 1738, 3000 DR Rotterdam, The Netherlands.
E-mail: h.bueving@erasmusmc.nl

Summary

The rationale for influenza vaccination in asthmatic children theoretically lies in prevention of exacerbations and serious complications like pneumonia. Solid evidence from randomized clinical trials of its preventive effects on these clinical endpoints is, however, lacking. Nevertheless, most Western guidelines advise to vaccinate these children. In the real life situation this advice isn't very well followed: vaccine coverage for this indication is low.

To assess the usefulness of influenza vaccination in children with asthma a set of fundamental questions regarding this activity is presented and answered. This leads to the conclusion that, given the evidence, influenza vaccination in children with mild to moderate disease should be reconsidered.

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