One swine flu shot enough for pregnant women, two for kids

A single dose of swine flu vaccine produces a robust immune response in pregnant women, one of the groups at high risk of dying from (A)H1N1 influenza, but young children need two shots, US clinical trials have shown.

"The immune responses seen in healthy pregnant women are comparable to those seen in healthy adults at the same time point after a single vaccination, and the vaccine has been well tolerated," Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said in a statement.

No safety issues were reported during the trials, which began on September 9 and tested 120 women, all in the second or third trimester of pregnancy.

Twenty-one days after they were given the swine flu vaccine, 92 percent of pregnant women who received a single 15-microgram dose and 96 percent of expectant mothers who were given one, 30-microgram dose showed a robust immune response, showed the initial results of the trials, which are still ongoing.

The findings of the trials back up recommendations made last week by the World Health Organization (WHO), that "adults -- including pregnant women -- and adolescents, beginning at 10 years old" be given a single swine flu shot.

Separate tests conducted in the United States have shown that children aged six months to 35 months and three to nine years should have two doses of the H1N1 vaccination, Fauci told reporters Monday.

"Those younger groups didn't have a good immune response eight to 10 days after receiving the first dose, and 21 days after that first dose, their response was still suboptimal -- 25 percent for the very young group and 55 percent for the intermediary group," Fauci told reporters.

"However, there was a very sharp increase in immune response after they received the second dose, such that 100 percent of the younger group and 94 percent of three- to nine-year-olds gave a robust immune response eight to 10 days after the second dose. That's where we want them to be," Fauci said.

The WHO has urged national authorities that have made children a priority for early vaccination to administer "one dose of vaccine to as many children as possible" while waiting for the results of studies to determine what the optimal dosage is for young kids.

Teenagers and young adults continue to account for the majority of cases of H1N1 flu around the world, "with rates of hospitalization highest in very young children," the WHO has said.

Up to 10 percent of swine flu patients require hospitalization, and up to a quarter of those have to be admitted to an intensive care unit, said the WHO.

"From seven-10 percent of all hospitalized patients are pregnant women in their second or third trimester of pregnancy. Pregnant women are 10 times more likely to need care in an intensive care unit when compared with the general population," the WHO said.

Since the outbreak of the new strain of H1N1 flu began in April, at least 100 pregnant women have been hospitalized in intensive care units in the United States and at least 28 expectant mothers have died of pandemic swine flu, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Pregnant women and mothers with young children have been turned away from flu vaccination clinics organized by state and county health authorities as vaccine supply has been far outstripped by demand.

Expectant mothers have to have the injectable form of the swine flu vaccine, which is made with killed H1N1 virus, and not the nasal spray, which is made with live, greatly weakened virus and is not advised for pregnant women, children under the age of two and people with chronic health conditions such as asthma.

The vaccine tested on the pregnant women in the United States did not contain the preservative thimerosal, which contains mercury, or an immune-boosting substance known as an adjuvant.

kdz/ksh

 

Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebooks
ebookA delicious collection of 50 meaty main courses
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    Recruitment Genius: Senior Environmental Adviser - Maternity Cover

    £37040 - £43600 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The UK's export credit agency a...

    Recruitment Genius: CBM & Lubrication Technician

    £25000 - £27500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company provides a compreh...

    Recruitment Genius: Care Worker - Residential Emergency Service

    £16800 - £19500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Would you like to join an organ...

    Recruitment Genius: Senior Landscaper

    £25000 - £28000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: In the last five years this com...

    Day In a Page

    The long walk west: they fled war in Syria, only to get held up in Hungary – now hundreds of refugees have set off on foot for Austria

    They fled war in Syria...

    ...only to get stuck and sidetracked in Hungary
    From The Prisoner to Mad Men, elaborate title sequences are one of the keys to a great TV series

    Title sequences: From The Prisoner to Mad Men

    Elaborate title sequences are one of the keys to a great TV series. But why does the art form have such a chequered history?
    Giorgio Armani Beauty's fabric-inspired foundations: Get back to basics this autumn

    Giorgio Armani Beauty's foundations

    Sumptuous fabrics meet luscious cosmetics for this elegant look
    From stowaways to Operation Stack: Life in a transcontinental lorry cab

    Life from the inside of a trucker's cab

    From stowaways to Operation Stack, it's a challenging time to be a trucker heading to and from the Continent
    Kelis interview: The songwriter and sauce-maker on cooking for Pharrell and crying over potatoes

    Kelis interview

    The singer and sauce-maker on cooking for Pharrell
    Refugee crisis: David Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia - will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi?

    Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia...

    But will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi, asks Robert Fisk
    Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

    Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

    Humanity must be at the heart of politics, says Jeremy Corbyn
    Joe Biden's 'tease tour': Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?

    Joe Biden's 'tease tour'

    Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?
    Britain's 24-hour culture: With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever

    Britain's 24-hour culture

    With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever
    Diplomacy board game: Treachery is the way to win - which makes it just like the real thing

    The addictive nature of Diplomacy

    Bullying, betrayal, aggression – it may be just a board game, but the family that plays Diplomacy may never look at each other in the same way again
    Lady Chatterley's Lover: Racy underwear for fans of DH Lawrence's equally racy tome

    Fashion: Ooh, Lady Chatterley!

    Take inspiration from DH Lawrence's racy tome with equally racy underwear
    8 best children's clocks

    Tick-tock: 8 best children's clocks

    Whether you’re teaching them to tell the time or putting the finishing touches to a nursery, there’s a ticker for that
    Charlie Austin: Queens Park Rangers striker says ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

    Charlie Austin: ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

    After hitting 18 goals in the Premier League last season, the QPR striker was the great non-deal of transfer deadline day. But he says he'd preferred another shot at promotion
    Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

    How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

    Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
    Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

    'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

    In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea