future immunization policies should continue to reflect the benefits of influenza vaccination.

Research

The committee recommends increased surveillance of adverse events associated with influenza vaccination of children, with particular attentiveness to detecting and assessing potential neurological complications. Enhanced surveillance should be in place before an ACIP recommendation is implemented for universal annual influenza vaccination of young children.

The committee recommends efforts to develop techniques for the detection and evaluation of rare adverse events and encourages the use of administrative databases and the standardization of immunization records as part of this effort.

Basic Science and Clinical Research

The committee supports ongoing research aimed at better understanding the pathogenesis of influenza and encourages efforts to anticipate which strains might be more neurologically active.

Although stocks of the 1976 vaccine are unlikely available, the committee recommends that if samples of the influenza vaccines used in 1976 are available, they should be analyzed for the presence of C. jejuni antigens, NS1 or NS2 proteins, or other possible contaminants. The 1976 vaccines should be compared with current and other historical influenza vaccines.

The committee recommends continued research using animal and in vitro models, as well as with humans, on the mechanisms of immune-mediated neurological diseases that might be associated with exposure to vaccines.

The committee recommends continued research efforts aimed at identifying genetic variability in human immune system responsiveness as a way to gain a better understanding of genetic susceptibility to vaccine-based adverse events.

Communication

The committee recommends that research be supported to conduct investigations that would deepen and expand the knowledge available from existing studies and more effectively organize what is currently known from these and future projects.



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