Swine Flu Vaccine Acts a lot like Seasonal Flu Vaccine

With the first shipments of the H1N1 vaccine due to begin arriving here in a couple of weeks, local health officials say they have some early feedback on how young people are responding to it. Jack Williams reports.

Federal H1N1 vaccine trails have been ongoing for the past month or so, including some at Baylor College of Medicine. Rita Obey is with the Harris County Health Department an says so far, responses have been similar to regular flu vaccines.

"It appears that we're going to be able to have children ages 10-17 receive a single dose and children who are age 6 months to 9-years-old would receive the typical two doses. This is very similar to what we currently see for seasonal flu vaccine, so the response has been very similar." 

That could mean younger children would have to get a total of four flu shots, two for the swine flu and two for the regular flu. Obey says once the vaccines get here, healthier adults should let others get vaccinated first.

"It's going to come in shipments. It's not going to be a huge push where all the vaccine is in the community all of a sudden. That's why we're asking that those persons who are healthy adults, who do not have underlying health conditions, allow others to go first, allow the children to go first because we need to make sure that those who have the greatest risk have the first opportunity to get the vaccine." 
   
Federal officials have said around 3.4 million doses of the H1N1 vaccine will be released first. They plan to make around 45 million doses of regular flu vaccine available next month as well.

Bio photo of Jack Williams

Jack Williams

Director of News Programming

News Director Jack Williams has been with Houston Public Radio since August of 2000. He's also a reporter and anchor for Houston Public Radio's local All Things Considered segments...