MF59 (TM)-adjuvanted seasonal influenza vaccine in young children
Influenza is a viral disease of the upper respiratory tract, which is manifested in seasonal epidemic waves associated with excess morbidity and mortality. Although efforts at prevention have traditionally been focused on the elderly, interest is growing on the specific features of influenza disease in children and the opportunities for prevention in this age group. Owing to recent improvements in surveillance schemes and diagnostic tools it has been realized that young children experience a burden of morbidity due to influenza as high or higher than the elderly and that children possibly act as a source of influenza infection and determinants of the intensity and the spread of influenza in the community, and as a result, the proposition that children should be preferentially targeted for influenza vaccination is gaining acceptance in many industrialized countries. Traditional seasonal inactivated influenza vaccines have performed poorly in the very young and the live-attenuated influenza vaccines, which are highly efficacious in this age group, have been associated with a poor safety profile in those less than 2 years of age. MF59 (TM)-adjuvanted influenza vaccines that were traditionally used in the elderly show a very promising safety and efficacy profile in the pediatric population that could overcome the limitations of the other currently available influenza vaccines for use in this age group.
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