Increased flu infection risk: why vaccinating children is important

It is now the season of AVRI and flu; children are the most vulnerable in the face of infection. As of today, the AVRI and flu national infection levels are higher than the weekly epidemic threshold by 10.3%[1]. Statistics show that infection risks in children might reach 30-40%, which is three or four times higher than in adults[2].

Acute viral respiratory infections (AVRI) are especially dangerous for their grave consequences: bacterial lesions of the ENT organs, viral and bacterial pneumonias. Pulmonary bacterial inflammations provoke septic shock, which might lead to clotting disorders or organ failure. Among other frequent influenza complications in children and adults, there are bronchitis and otitis; neural and cardiovascular complications are less frequent, as are chronic illness exacerbations.

Children tend to shed the influenza virus longer than adults, thus being its primary source and reservoir, as mentioned by Anna Galustyan, PhD, Associate Professor, Head of the Department of Pharmacology Saint Petersburg State Pediatric Medical University, Russia, during the 4th Days of Virology 2023 International Forum.

“Children 6- to 12-months-old get hospitalized six times more often than 2- to 4-year-old children and twelve times more often than 5- to 17-year-old children,”
the speaker emphasized.

Children are the primary vectors of influenza infections as they closely contact each other at school and kindergarten, encounter adults and the elderly, have bad hygienics at times and a weak immune system that is often helpless before infections, as well as produce high virus titers.

“Vaccination of children against flu can help to limit the scale of virus’ propagation, ensure the kids’ safety, and indirect protection of unvaccinated family members as well as other people to contact a child, which is especially important for the elderly being a risk panel,”
Anna Galustyan added.

Since the 2012-2013 epidemic influenza season, the WHO recommends adding the fourth component of the B-type influenza virus to trivalent vaccines to secure stronger protection against infections provoked by the B-type influenza virus[3]. Anna Galustyan presented the data provided by the international systematic meta-analysis concerning the efficiency and safety of using adjuvant vaccines to prevent influenza infections, "Using the Grippol® vaccines results in lower local reactogenicity in comparison with levels shown by the split and subunit adjuvant-less vaccines. A favorable risk-benefit profile and high immunogenicity make the Grippol® vaccines great candidates for seasonal influenza shots."[4]

Anna Galustyan cited the results of a multicenter clinical trial GriQv-ch-III-22 conducted in children aged 6 months to 6 years, which showed that the quadrivalent vaccine Grippol® Quadrivalent demonstrated high efficacy, safety, and low reactogenicity and mentioned that the vaccine was registered for the prevention of influenza in children from 6 months and adults up to 60 years old.[5]

Influenza shots protect the risk panel individuals from complications accompanying the main disease symptoms, hospitalization, and fatal cases. A high influenza vaccine coverage helps to develop mass immunity and prevent epidemics.[6]


2 WHO Influenza (Seasonal) Fact Sheet.; Available online:


4 Kompier R, Neels P, Beyer W et al. Analysis of the safety and immunogenicity profile of an azoximer bromide polymer-adjuvanted subunit influenza vaccine. [version 2; peer review: 2 approved]. F1000Research 2022, 11:259 (


6 Попова А.Ю., Ежлова Е.Б., Мельникова А.А., Фролова Н.В., Михеев В.Н., Рыжиков А.Б., Ильичева Т.Н., Домкина А.М., Михеева И.В., Салтыкова Т.С. Влияние ежегодной иммунизации населения против гриппа на заболеваемость этой инфекцией в Российской Федерации // Эпидемиология и вакцинопрофилактика. 2016. № 1 (86).

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