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Colds and flu

02 September 2010

Pediatric Group Issues New Flu Shot Guidelines

Kids between 6 months and 9 years may need a double dose, depending on vaccine history

This article has not necessarily been edited by Health24.

These groups are most vulnerable to flu-related complications, the academy pointed out in a news release.

  • Children younger than 6 months of age should not receive influenza vaccine because they are too young.
  • For children 9 years of age and older, only one dose is needed.
  • For children younger than 9 years but older than 6 months, a minimum of two doses of 2009 pandemic H1N1 vaccine is needed. If they already received the H1N1 vaccine during last year's flu season, one dose of vaccine is needed this year, otherwise they will need two doses of seasonal influenza vaccine this year.
  • Those under 9 years of age who have never received the seasonal flu vaccine before will need two doses this year.
  • Children younger than 9 years who received seasonal flu vaccine last year for the first time, but only received one dose, should receive two doses this year.
  • Also, those under 9 years who received a flu vaccine last year, but for whom it is unclear whether it was a seasonal flu vaccine or the H1N1 flu vaccine, should receive two doses this year.
  • All children who are recommended to get two doses this year should receive the second dose at least four weeks after the first dose.

 

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Flu expert

Dr Heidi van Deventer completed her MBChB (Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery) degree in 2004 at the University of Stellenbosch.
She has additional training in ACLS (Advanced Cardiac Life Support) and PALS (Paediatric Advanced Life Support) as well as biostatistics and epidemiology.

Dr Van Deventer is currently working as a researcher at the Desmond Tutu Tuberculosis Centre at the University of Stellenbosch.

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