Influenza, commonly called the "flu," is an illness caused by viruses that infect the respiratory tract (nose, throat and lungs). It usually comes on suddenly and may include symptoms such as fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, headache, muscle aches and extreme tiredness. These symptoms are usually worse than those experienced with other viral respiratory infections such as the common cold. In children, flu may also lead to or contribute to middle ear infections. Most children 6 months to 3 years of age suffer more frequently from flu than older children and adults, with significantly more medical visits and hospitalizations.
Purpose of the Study:
This study is being conducted to study the possibility of improved protection against influenza in children 6 through 35 months of age. The proposal is that this will happen by giving an increased dose of flu vaccine with the child having no increase in side effects. The routine immunization schedule recommends that children 6 through 35 months of age receive half the dose of vaccine given to older children and adults. The half-dose was chosen in the past, due to the concerns about the original flu vaccine's side effects. However, the flu vaccine has been modified over the years. Health scientists believe younger children might build up more infection-fighting proteins in their blood (antibody protection) if given the full dose size, with no increase in side effects expected.
Important points regarding the study:
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