Children need only one swine flu vaccine shot: WHO

October 30th, 2009 - 9:24 pm ICT by IANS  

Geneva/Vienna, Oct 30 (DPA) World Health Organisation (WHO) advisors recommend that children get only one shot of swine flu vaccine, a WHO official said Friday in Geneva, reversing the organisation’s previous view that children should receive two doses.
The recommendation by the WHO’s vaccine advisory group SAGE was based on the view that as many people as possible should be immunised, given the scarcity of vaccines in some countries, according to WHO official Marie-Paule Kieny.

The priority should be “to give all of them or as many of them one dose, rather than to vaccinate only half of the same number of children with two doses,” Kieny told reporters in a conference call.

The WHO panel concluded this week that H1N1 pandemic vaccine shots for children from the age of 10 are safe.

For children between six months and 10 years, the experts said more studies were needed, but should countries decide that this age group be immunised as a matter of priority, as many children as possible should get shots.

The vaccines are also safe for pregnant women, the group said.

The WHO is planning to donate 200 million immunisation doses to developing countries, and Kieny said her organisation had so far secured 156 million doses.

The UN health organisation said the first 16 of these countries would receive shipments in late November or the first half of December.

The WHO has been recommending single vaccine shots for adults.

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