Little Kids Still Need 2 Swine Flu Shots

Older kids, like adults, get effective H1N1 inoculation from just 1 dose
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 21, 2009 3:41 PM CDT
Jack Houley, 10, of Annapolis, Md., receives a shot of a trail vaccine for the swine flu from nurse Peggy Hughes, right, during a visit to Annapolis Pediatrics in Annapolis, Thursday, Aug. 27, 2009.    (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

(Newser) – 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.