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1 Swine Flu Shot Enough for Older Kids
Date:9/21/2009

But children under 10 will need two doses, preliminary U.S. trial results show

MONDAY, Sept. 21 (HealthDay News) -- Kids who are between 10 and 17 years old will apparently need only one shot of the H1N1 swine flu vaccine, according to initial results of ongoing trials, U.S. health officials announced Monday.

Children younger than 10 will probably need two doses of the new H1N1 vaccine, the officials added. That was expected because youngsters 6 months to 9 years of age typically need two doses of vaccine for the regular seasonal flu vaccine as well, because their immune systems are less developed.

"The initial results are encouraging," Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said during a press conference. "As we had hoped, in children the 2009 H1N1 vaccine is acting just like the seasonal flu vaccine."

The preliminary results from the trials indicate that a single 15-microgram dose is well-tolerated and induces a robust immune response in most older children within eight to 10 days following vaccination, Fauci said.

Among children 10 to 17 years old, 76 percent had a "robust" immune response to the vaccine. For children 3 to 9 years old, 36 percent had a robust response. Among children 6 months to 36 months, the immune response rate was 25 percent, Fauci said.

Young children need two doses of flu vaccine -- whether for regular seasonal flu or H1N1 swine flu -- to prime their less-developed immune systems to develop antibodies to the flu, Fauci added.

Unlike regular seasonal flu, which typically strikes hardest at older adults, the H1N1 swine flu seems to target children and young adults, possibly because they may lack immunity to this strain of flu.

The officials reiterated that a seasonal flu shot won't protect you from the H1N1 flu, and an H1N1 shot won't protect you from the seasonal flu. So, children younger than 1
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