Kids over age 9 can safely join adults in receiving just one shot of swine flu vaccine, the Washington Post reports. A test of 650 subjects showed 76% of children between 10 and 17 had a response to a vaccine produced by Sanofi Pasteur, and it was strong enough that protection from the virus could be assumed. Kids under 10 will still need two doses—only 25% to 36% of them exhibited a strong vaccine response.
Public health officials welcome the news of the vaccine’s efficacy. However, the necessity of testing children highlights an uncomfortable fact about swine flu: Unlike seasonal influenza, it targets the young. Forty-seven kids have died from H1N1 this year “during a period of time when we usually would see zero children dying from influenza," a CDC official said.