Pandemic influenza planning: addressing the needs of children

Am J Public Health. 2009 Oct;99 Suppl 2(Suppl 2):S255-60. doi: 10.2105/AJPH.2009.159970.


Children represent one quarter of the US population. Because of its enormous size and special needs, it is critically important to address this population group in pandemic influenza planning. Here we describe the ways in which children are vulnerable in a pandemic, provide an overview of existing plans, summarize the resources available, and, given our experience with influenza A(H1N1), outline the evolving lessons we have learned with respect to planning for a severe influenza pandemic. We focus on a number of issues affecting children-vaccinations, medication availability, hospital capacity, and mental health concerns-and emphasize strategies that will protect children from exposure to the influenza virus, including infection control practices and activities in schools and child care programs.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Antiviral Agents / supply & distribution
  • Antiviral Agents / therapeutic use
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Communicable Disease Control*
  • Disease Outbreaks / prevention & control*
  • Hospitals, Pediatric / supply & distribution
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Influenza A Virus, H1N1 Subtype*
  • Influenza, Human / drug therapy
  • Influenza, Human / epidemiology*
  • Influenza, Human / prevention & control*
  • Schools
  • United States / epidemiology
  • Vulnerable Populations


  • Antiviral Agents