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February 7, 2011

The Promise of Maternal Vaccination to Prevent Influenza in Young Infants

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliations: Vaccine Development Global Program, PATH, Seattle, Washington (Drs Ortiz and Neuzil); and the Departments of Medicine (Drs Ortiz and Neuzil) and Global Health (Dr Neuzil), University of Washington, Seattle.

Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 2011;165(2):179-180. doi:10.1001/archpediatrics.2010.193

Public health surveillance and scientific research in varied settings worldwide have consistently demonstrated the high burden of influenza-associated illness among infants. In the United States, children younger than 6 months have higher influenza-associated hospitalization rates than any other pediatric age group.1-5 In Gambia, 16% of children younger than 3 months hospitalized with respiratory symptoms had influenza virus infection,6 and in Thailand, children younger than 1 year were found to have more than 6 times the risk of hospitalization for influenza pneumonia compared with the general population.7 During the recent 2009 influenza A (H1N1) pandemic, high rates of influenza-associated hospitalizations in infants were also evident.8

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