The current outbreak of H1N1 has led to recommendations that certain populations receive the H1N1 vaccine upon availability. The CDC reports that the H1N1 vaccine is currently begin formulated and tested in clinical trials. The H1N1 vaccine should be available in early fall around the beginning of the 2009-2010 flu season.
H1N1 Vaccination for Children, Infants Under 6 Months of Age
The H1N1 vaccination is not recommended for infants under six months of age. However, the H1N1 vaccination is recommended for parents and caregivers of children including infants under the age of six months. The CDC also currently recommends that all pregnant women receive the H1N1 vaccination when it becomes available.
H1N1 Vaccination for Children, Children Aged 6 Months and Older
The H1N1 virus has caused increased complications in children ages 6 months to 24 years of age. The H1N1 virus has proven to cause the highest likely hood of complications in children under 5 years of age. Due to the high risk of complications in children infected with H1N1, the CDC recommends that all children over the age of 6 months be vaccinated when the H1N1 vaccine becomes available.
Children are also recommended to receive the H1N1 vaccination due to their frequent close proximity with other children. Many children attend daycare and/or school increasing the risk of H1N1 exposure due to close contact with other children and caregivers.
Often children younger than nine years of age require two doses of the flu vaccine due to to their young bodies have not built up enough antibodies for one dose of the vaccination to offer ample protection from viruses. It is expected that children under nine years of age will require two doses of the H1N1 vaccination as well. The CDC recommendations will be continually updated as this information becomes available.
H1N1 Vaccination for Children, Side Effects & Complications
The H1N1 vaccine is contraindicated in anyone who has severe allergic reactions to chickens or eggs or any other component of the H1N1 vaccination.
Rarely, life threatening allergic reactions to the flu vaccines occur which the CDC reports will be true of the H1N1 vaccine as well. Severe allergic reactions generally occur within a few minutes to hours of a vaccination. Most practitioners require vaccinated persons to stay in the office for twenty minutes following a vaccination in case of severe allergic reaction.
Side effects from the seasonal flu vaccine are rare and are expected to be rare with the H1N1vaccine as well. Potential side effects include: mild soreness at the injection site, redness at the injection site, fever, muscle aches, muscle pains, nausea, and headache.