What is a Swine Flu Vaccine?
Swine Flu Vaccine is targeted towards 2009 H1N1 Influenza virus. This vaccine is different from the seasonal flu vaccine. The seasonal flu vaccine will not provide protection against 2009 H1N1 flu. A single dose should be adequate. It will require about 10 days to develop immunologic protection from the date the vaccine is given.
When will the Swine Flu Vaccine be available?
It is expected to be available near end of October. The first batch of the vaccine has been shipped out in the first 2 week of October to states based on population and distributed by state-determined plans. The vaccine availability depends on multiple factors including manufacturing time and time needed to conduct clinical trials, etc.
Can seasonal flu and swine flu vaccine be taken together?
Yes, the 2009 H1N1 vaccine and the seasonal flu vaccine may be taken at the same time.
Who should get the Swine Flu Vaccination (2009 H1N1 influenza)?
Unlike seasonal flu, the H1N1 flu has caused serious illness in younger patients. It is recommended that the following group of patients should receive priority in getting the H1N1 vaccination:
- Pregnant women
- People who live with or care for children younger than 6 months
- Healthcare workers and emergency personnel
- Children 6 months through 4 years old
- Children 5 years through 18 years of age who have chronic medical conditions
Once the demand for vaccine for these target groups has been met at the local level, providers should begin vaccinating everyone from ages 25-64 and then to people over the age of 65. (CDC.gov. Accessed October 3, 2009)
What are the current recommendations for 2009 H1N1 Dosing?
The FDA has approved one dose for persons 10 years and older. CDC recommendations are as follows:
- Persons > 10 years: Single dose;
- Children > 35 months to 10 years; 2 doses separated by 21-28 days; and
- Children 6-25 months: 2 doses that contain half the standard dose used for older children and adults; the dose interval should be 21-28 days.