Younger Children Need Two Doses of the H1N1 Vaccine

By: Tim Elliott Email
By: Tim Elliott Email

The National Institutes of Health has released details of a study on children and the H1N1 vaccine.

Parents can now expect to spend more time at the pediatrician's office.

That's the bad news that parents may have to make more than one doctor's appointment.

But the good news, the vaccine is safe and effective for children.

Protecting a young child from the H1N1 virus may require an extra trip to the doctor's office.

According to the new National Institutes of Health guidelines, children under 10 years old will need two doses of the h1n1 vaccine.

“It's to make sure that you have a high level of immunity present when you come in contact with that virus in the community,” said Dothan pediatrician Dr. Michael Ramsey.

Children age 10 and over only need one dose.

Dr. Michael Ramsey with the Dothan Pediatric Clinic says this new vaccine is very similar to the traditional flu shot.

“Although it is a separate vaccine, it's made by the same companies who make flu vaccine, it's the exact same process that regular flu vaccine is made so we anticipate it to behave just like regular flu vaccine. So it's not this super experimental thing that people are making it out to be,”

He says the two dose recommendation is really nothing new.

“That's very similar to what we see with traditional flu vaccine children under 9 who have not had the vaccine get 2 doses,”

But does double the trips to the doctor's office mean double the cost?

“Well the vaccine is provided by the federal government and most insurances are paying for doctors to administer the vaccine so there would be very little out of pocket expense associated with the H1N1 vaccine,”

Local pediatricians say making that extra trip to the doctor’s office is a small price to pay for you child’s health and well-being.

“So it is inconvenient for people to come back but for you children's safety I think most people would make that trip,”

Children younger than 10 must wait 21 days between the two injections.
Dr. Ramsay says his office's shipment of the regular flu vaccine has been delayed because health officials are scrambling to get the H1N1 virus vaccine out.

Also, you can get the regular flu vaccine and the H1N1 flu vaccine at the same time.

The vaccine should start arriving in doctor's offices sometime in October.

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