par Lynn Shapiro
, Writer | September 11, 2009
Even though the H1N1 flu is mild, some children will get sick and some of them will die, as happens with seasonal flu, experts warn. CDC says that at least 36 children in the U.S. have died of swine flu, while seasonal flu kills 50 to 100 children annually.
CDC recommends H1N1 vaccines for children and young adults ages 6 months to 24 years, pregnant women, health care workers and people caring for an infant younger than 6 months. (The agency advises against closing schools unless the virus becomes widespread.)
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Companies Ready With Shots
Companies are racing against time to develop vaccines. Novartis has trumpeted the effectiveness of a single-dose swine flu shot. Officials had believed that two shots of the H1N1 vaccine would be necessary, so the one-shot vaccine is good news: it would stretch potentially tight supplies.
Australia's CSL is already producing vaccine and is making 1.0 million to 1.5 million doses per week until it meets demand. Meanwhile, Chinese firm Sinovac received the go-ahead from Chinese health authorities to produce a vaccine.
National Web site of Resources Planned
As the federal government develops a national strategy for the virus, the National Conference of State Legislatures has developed a website with updated facts on all aspects of the pandemic from the White House, CDC, the Department of Health and Human Services and NIH. (http://www.ncsl.org/).Back to HCB News