Flu Protection Starts NowTexas Children's Health Plan
Flu season is on its way and vaccinating continues to be the best way to protect ourselves and our patients against serious complications from the flu. Patients under the age of 18 should be offered the flu vaccine during office visits, while those over the age of 18 also have the option of receiving it at pharmacies.
While the AAP and CDC each support the use of LAIV4 for the 2018-19 influenza season with the goal of accomplishing adequate vaccination coverage and optimal protection in children of all ages, the AAP is making the following recommendations:
- Annual influenza vaccination is recommended for everyone 6 months and older.
- For the 2018-19 season, the AAP recommends inactivated influenza vaccine (IIV3/4) as the primary choice for all children because the effectiveness of LAIV4:
- was inferior against A/H1N1 during past seasons; and
- is unknown against A/H1N1 for this upcoming season.
- LAIV4 may be offered for children who would not otherwise receive an influenza vaccine (and for whom it is appropriate by age and health status).
Influenza vaccines are available free-of-charge to enrolled providers through the Texas Vaccines for Children (TVFC) program for STAR, STAR Kids, and CHIP members birth through 18 years of age. Members who are 18 years or older can receive the influenza vaccine at a participating pharmacy. For a list of pharmacies, please visit http://www.texaschildrenshealthplan.org/for-members/star/pharmacy-directories.