Flu shots little help for young kids, study says
No evidence reduces deaths, complications for under age 2
Updated: 8:58 a.m. ET Feb. 25, 2005

LONDON - There is no evidence that vaccinating children under 2 years old against influenza reduces deaths or complications from the illness, researchers said on Friday.

They reviewed 25 studies that looked at the impact of vaccines in cutting the number of cases of influenza and its symptoms in children up to 16.

Children under 2 are vaccinated against flu in the United States and Canada.

“Immunization of very young children is not lent support by our findings,” said Dr Tom Jefferson, of the Cochrane Vaccines Field in Rome, part of the international Cochrane Collaboration that evaluates medical research.

“We recorded no convincing evidence that vaccines can reduce mortality, admissions, serious complications and community transmission of influenza,” he added in a report in The Lancet medical journal.

Influenza vaccine campaigns are usually targeted at people over 65.