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Study backs flu jabs in children

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Children should be vaccinated against influenza to stop the disease spreading to the rest of the population, according to a study.

Researchers at the Health Protection Agency (HPA) estimated the effects of vaccinating under-twos, under-fives and under-16s against the disease.

A programme vaccinating everyone under the age of 16 would reduce the incidence of influenza A and B by 90%, the HPA found.

Immunising those between six months and two years would reduce flu in the population by between 11% and 35%, while immunising all those under five would reduce flu in the population by between 38% and 69%.

The Department of Health's Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation decided in 2005 that more work was needed before flu immunisation in children could be considered.

A DH spokesperson said: 'As with all areas of vaccination and immunisation, the JCVI continuously reviews the available scientific evidence to ensure that there is a firm basis for its advice.

'If new evidence becomes available, it will be considered. The Committee has obviously not yet had time to look at this report.

Vaccine – published online

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