Children under 10 need 2 doses of H1N1 vaccine, parents reminded

COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio Department of Health reminded parents and health care providers Nov. 30 that children younger than 10 should receive two doses of H1N1 flu vaccine in order to achieve optimal protection against pandemic flu.

While people 10 and older need only one dose to be protected, research has shown that two doses of vaccine are required to provide immunity for children 6 months to 9 years.

Children are particularly at risk for H1N1 because of limited previous exposure to the virus.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that the two doses of H1N1 vaccine be separated by 28 days to be effective. Caregivers of children younger than 10 are encouraged to keep the dates between doses in mind.

“Please fully protect your youngsters by ensuring they receive two doses of H1N1 vaccine,” said Alvin D. Jackson, director of the Ohio Department of Health.

Jackson also said that children younger than 6 months cannot receive influenza vaccine, which is why caregivers and those who live with children younger than 6 months are among those high-priority individuals for receiving the H1N1 vaccine.