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H1N1 vaccine # of shots required - Ireland

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  • H1N1 vaccine # of shots required - Ireland

    Only children under 10 require two swine flu jabs

    Thursday December 03 2009

    ONLY children who are 10 years or younger will need two doses of swine flu vaccine, the Health Service Executive has confirmed.

    It was originally believed that two doses would have to be given to everyone under 13 years but this has now been revised.

    The confirmation from the HSE yesterday followed claims that parents bringing their children to HSE clinics are getting conflicting information with some being told that only one jab is needed.

    Fine Gael TD Dr James Reilly said at the Oireachtas Commitee on Health and Children that he had told Health Minister Mary Harney that he knew of the parents of a seven- month-old baby who was informed one vaccination would do.

    Yet a child relative who went to another clinic in Lucan was told that he needed two jabs.

    The minister was appearing before the committee to secure ?55m for the bills which have accumulated arising out of its response to swine flu, including the purchase of vaccines and setting up of clinics as well as payments to doctors.

    Asked to provide clarification, a spokesperson for the HSE said the need for two doses was revised down from 13 years to 10 years based on international evidence and clinical trials.

    The spokesperson said: "There are two different makes of vaccine being used in Ireland: Pandemrix and Celvapan."

    Most people only need one dose of Pandemrix. The only exceptions to this are people with immunosuppression and children under 10 years, who require two doses of Pandemrix.

    "For the Celvapan vaccine, everyone requires two doses of vaccine to give full protection from swine flu.

    "If you need a second dose, it should be given after three weeks or longer, and the HSE will let you know when a second dose is available to you".

    The HSE rolled out its swine flu vaccination campaign for schools earlier this week.

    Children under five years are being offered the vaccine by invitation in HSE clinics, as are people over 65 years.

    People who are at risk because of medical conditions, pregnant women and healthcare workers are also now among the groups who have received the vaccine.

    The World Health Organisation said that there have now been more than 7,820 confirmed deaths. But it believes these numbers are just the tip of the iceberg.

    Swine flu infection is slowing here and in the UK.

    The death toll in the UK has reached 242: 163 in England, 43 in Scotland, 23 in Wales and 13 in Northern Ireland.

    The death toll in Ireland now stands at 17.

    - Eilish O'Regan Health Correspondent

    Irish Independent

    Twitter: @RonanKelly13
    The views expressed are mine alone and do not represent the views of my employer or any other person or organization.