Vaccinating kids best way to prevent spread of swine fluOctober 2nd, 2009 - 4:37 pm ICT by IANS
Washington, Oct 2 (IANS) The optimal way to control swine flu, the H1N1 virus that has emerged as a current global threat, is to vaccinate children, says David Kimberlin, a medical expert.
The reason behind making children the highest priority comes from decades of experience with flu transmission, prevention strategies, infection monitoring and many other factors. Additionally, children younger than five are at higher risk of complications from influenza.
Kimberlin, co-director of the division of paediatric infectious diseases, University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) is one of four US physicians serving on the Federal Safety Monitoring Committee reviewing clinical trials of H1N1 vaccines.
The committee is a part of the Division of Microbiology and Infectious Diseases at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.
“Like a bull’s-eye, the middle of the target is what you vaccinate so you don’t see infections in the concentric rings around the centre,” Kimberlin says. “The centre of the protection bull’s-eye should be children.”
The US’ prospects for developing and distributing a safe and effective vaccine to prevent infection with the current H1N1 virus are excellent, Kimberlin says, according to an UAB release.
Once the vaccine is available this month, children aged six months and older, teenagers and young adults through age 24, will be among the first groups targeted by the Centres for Disease Control Advisory Committee on Immunisation Practices to receive the shots.
Pregnant women, adults who have high-risk medical conditions and health-care workers who are direct care providers are among the others who will be given the earliest shots, says Kimberlin.
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