WebMD Medical News
Daniel J. DeNoon
Louise Chang, MD
Dec. 21, 2009 - Can kids get by with just one dose of the H1N1 swine flu
Yes, an Australian study suggests. No, says the CDC -- they'll still need
Australian researchers report that a 15-microgram dose of H1N1 vaccine --
double the dose approved for U.S. kids under age 3 but the same dose given to
older kids -- raised anti-H1N1 antibodies to protective levels in more than 90%
of children ages 6 months to 9 years.
But the CDC warns parents not to act on this information, noting that that
in other studies, kids needed two doses of the H1N1 swine flu vaccine for
Terry Nolan, MBBS, PhD, of the University of Melbourne, Australia, and
colleagues gave kids either 15-microgram or 30-microgram doses of the vaccine.
In the U.S., kids under age 3 get 7.5-microgram doses and other kids and adults
get 15-microgram doses.
Each child got a second shot three weeks later. That second shot wasn't
necessary, Nolan and colleagues suggest. The first one raised anti-H1N1
antibodies to protective levels in 92.5% of kids in the 15-microgram group and
in 97.7% of the 30-microgram group.
The second dose gave protection to 100% of the kids. There were no serious
"Our findings suggest that a single-dose 15-microgram vaccine regimen may be
effective and well tolerated in children, and may have positive implications
for disease protection and reduced transmission of pandemic H1N1 in the wider
population," Nolan and colleagues conclude.
CDC flu experts Anthony Fiore, MD, MPH, and Kathleen Neuzil, MD, MPH,
disagree in an editorial published along with the Nolan report in the Dec. 21
early-release issue of the Journal of the American Medical
"It is premature to assume that only one dose will be needed to provide
adequate protection for all young children based on these data," Fiore and
Why? The CDC researchers note that:
Nolan and colleagues, however, question the two-dose approach and suggest
that a single, larger dose might be a better strategy to more quickly protect
communities against H1N1 swine flu.
SOURCES:Nolan, T. Journal of the American Medical Association, published
online Dec. 21, 2009.Fiore, A.E. and Neuzil, K.M. Journal of the American Medical
Association, published online Dec. 21, 2009.News release, Journal of the American Medical Association.
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