I’m no scientist, but I know that a lot of parents are just as concerned and confused about a number of H1N1 issues as I am. Here, I’ve compiled some news for you all in one spot. But please remember — this is just a compilation of news — not medical advice.
New information from WHO was released today. Its Strategic Advisory Group of Experts (SAGE) on Immunization has reviewed the current epidemiological situation of the pandemic worldwide.
On vaccine dosage for children under 10:
According to this Canadian Press article published today, WHO is now advising that only one dose of the vaccine is required even for very young children (previous to this, mutiple doses were being recommended). For 10 years and older, one single dose of the vaccine is still recommended.
However, when I consulted the WHO website, its release reads “Data on immunogenicity in children older than 6 months and younger than 10 years are limited and more studies are needed. Where national authorities have made children a priority for early vaccination, SAGE [the expert advisory for WHO] recommended that priority be given to the administration of one dose of vaccine to as many children as possible.”
I’ll be interested to see what Canadian authorities decide. As of right now, the website for the Public Health Agency of Canada still has two 1/2 doses as its recommendation for children aged 6 months to 9 years. (Its Twitter account did post a notice for a media advisory update to take place this afternoon at 2 pm. We’ll see.)
On vaccine safety for pregnant women (you know, as opposed to pregnant men):
This same WHO release notes the following elevated risks for pregnant women:
Overall, from 7% to 10% of all hospitalized patients are pregnant women in their second or third trimester of pregnancy. Pregnant women are ten times more likely to need care in an intensive care unit when compared with the general population.
As for the safety of the vaccine during pregnancy:
Concerning vaccines for pregnant women, SAGE noted that studies in experimental animals using live attenuated vaccines and non-adjuvanted or adjuvanted inactivated vaccines found no evidence of direct or indirect harmful effects on fertility, pregnancy, development of the embryo or fetus, birthing, or post-natal development.
Note that these studies involved both the non-adjuvanted and the adjuvanted vaccines.
Ontario suspends rollout of H1N1 vaccine (Globe & Mail): announced today, only high-risk groups will receive vaccine starting next week. In Ottawa, only high-risk groups were supposed to be receiving it anyhow … but I guess it was being liberally distributed. Not anymore.
Today’s updates from the American Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Today’s updates from Canada Communicable Disease Report — “Flu watch”