STUDY CONFIRMS TWO IMPORTANT ISSUES REGARDING H1N1 VACCINE
A new US study released this week confirms two important issues: confirm
- Only one dose of H1N1 vaccine will be needed to protect adults and seniors. The study showed that adults and seniors who received a second dose of the pandemic vaccine didn’t get much additional benefit from the second shot
- Giving seasonal and pandemic flu shots at the same time should be fine
Fauci also revealed preliminary data from another study looking at whether it was safe to give both seasonal and pandemic flu shots at the same. Both protect against different types of H1N1 virus – it is thought that the vaccine against one would not protect against the other. There were theoretical concerns that giving two flu vaccines at once might interfere with the immune system’s ability to generate a good response to all the viruses covered in the shots. What is in the two shots?
- The seasonal flu shot is a trivalent vaccine: protecting against three families of viruses – seasonal H1N1 and H3N2, both influenza A viruses and an influenza B virus.
- The pandemic flu shot is a monovalent vaccine: protecting only against the pandemic novel (A)H1N1.
There have been no unusual side effects seen in the people who received the two vaccines together. “We’re seeing pain, redness and perhaps some swelling that we see very frequently with injectable vaccines.” New trials are now beginning studying the safety and effectiveness of the vaccine in people with asthma. Other studies will look at safety and dosing requirements in two groups of people living with HIV – pregnant women, and children and adolescents
H1N1 DEATHS AMONG YOUTHS RISE AS PANDEMIC SPREADS
CDC has been reporting that the number of children who have died from swine flu has jumped sharply as the virus continues to spread widely around the United States, striking youngsters, teenagers, young adults and pregnant women unusually often. This has had as you might expect, an unnerving impact on parents and families. On one hand the disease remains mild, and yet when it strikes it can deal a deadly blow.
“These pediatric deaths seem to be increasing substantially,” said Anne Schuchat MD (Rear Admiral), who heads the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases. While most of the children who have died have had other health problems that made them particularly vulnerable, such as asthma, muscular dystrophy and cerebral palsy, 20 to 30 percent were otherwise healthy, Schuchat said. Between 46 and 88 children died from the seasonal flu in each of the past four years, so the fact that so many have already succumbed is disturbing, Schuchat said.
Since the pandemic began (April 2009), at least 3,873 Americans have died from complications associated with the flu, primarily the H1N1 virus, including at least 28 pregnant women.