In a fresh effort to help spread and prevent the spread of the H1N1 influenza virus (also known as swine flu), a panel of scientists has recommended that children between the ages of 5 and 11 get a vaccine for H1N1, commonly known as swine flu.
This recommendation is based on a study that randomized between a three-vaccine vaccine consisting of shingles, pneumococcal and H1N1, to either a three-vaccine approach consisting of shingles, pneumococcal and H1N1 or a two-vaccine approach consisting of shingles, pneumococcal and H1N1.
We would like to ask those of you who are parents of children under the age of 25 years old for your thoughts on this highly unusual (for an issue to be so focused on) and potentially life-saving recommendation.
The bottom line: 1) if your child has or is planning to have chicken pox- anything in the chicken pox family should be given a vaccination for the H1N1 H1N1 vaccine. 2) with the current recommendations, if your child is not experiencing a chicken pox-like rash as of today, then the H1N1 H1N1 vaccine should be administered. 3) with the current recommendations, if your child has recently recovered from chicken pox, is experiencing no symptoms as of today, then the shingles vaccine (also known as the chicken pox-Vaccine) should be administered. If your child has chicken pox but shows signs of improvement by tomorrow, then the shingles vaccine should be administered. In the case of severe or persistent chicken pox symptoms, then the two-vaccine approach should be used. 4) PLEASE DO NOT – YOU SHOULD NOT – BLOW THIS INFORMATION OUT OF PROPORTION.
We will be posting this article to our home page for everyone to read. The piece is entitled:
Eyes turn to schoolchildren as swine flu turns deadly in Mexico
The trial sample for the recommendation was 99 children (and one 10-month-old baby); and was carried out by the US Department of Health and Human Services. It will be published in the journal Pediatrics.
More data from the trial – the whole trial.
More results from the US Dept of Health and Human Services press release.
Write your government representatives. Talk to your pediatrician. Talk to your doctor. Share this with the people who matter – you.
Before we leave this information, here is a quote from Dr Rick Ribar, an assistant professor of pediatrics at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, who is the lead author of the original study, and is also an expert in infectious diseases, and is the chairman of the department of Pediatrics at the University of Michigan School of Public Health:
We desperately need everyone’s support to accelerate the availability of the vaccine for infants and children under age 5, because these are high-risk populations.
He also said:
While a lot of attention is focused on the elderly and other vulnerable groups, this is an emerging pandemic that strikes among the younger generations as well.
He adds that this advice will also be disseminated worldwide. He hopes it will help spread flu among “young and vulnerable people”.