November 12, 2009
For immediate release
New Recommendations on H1N1 Vaccine for Children
New recommendations on the H1N1 vaccine dosage for children between three years and nine years of age were announced today by the Public Health Agency of Canada.
The updated national recommendations from the Public Health Agency of Canada reflect findings from clinical trial results from Europe that suggest that a single half-dose of adjuvanted H1N1 flu vaccine for healthy children may provide an acceptable level of protection from infection from the H1N1 Flu virus.
“Today’s announcement from the federal government is good news,” says Health Minister Doug Currie. “This means that most children in PEI who are between three and nine years of age will not need to return for a second shot at this time.”
The updated recommendations include three components:
• Children between six months of age and under three years of age should receive two half-doses of adjuvanted H1N1 flu vaccine, administered at least 21 days apart.
• Children with significant chronic health conditions who are between three years of age and nine years of age should receive their first half-dose of the H1N1 flu vaccine as soon as possible, which most Island children in this age category have been offered the vaccine here in PEI. These children should receive a second half-dose of the H1N1 flu vaccine once immunization of other priority groups has been completed.
• Healthy children who are three years of age and over should only receive a single half dose of the H1N1 vaccine and do not need to return for a second shot for now. This recommendation may be updated as more information becomes available.
“We are pleased to see national guidance from the Public Health Agency of Canada on vaccine dosage for children because this allows us to continue making the most appropriate decisions to best protect children in PEI,” said Dr. Heather Morrison, Chief Health Officer for Prince Edward Island. “Details around clinics for those who should receive a second shot, will be announced in the near future.”
The updated recommendations and the studies they are based on have been reviewed with the Canadian Paediatric Society. The new guidance reflects the need to adopt a prudent approach to protecting younger children with weaker immune systems and children with underlying medical conditions.
For further information on upcoming clinics, the public should watch for advertisements, visit www.gov.pe.ca/flu or call 1-888-748-5454 for the most up-to-date information on immunization clinics.