Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Good news for toddlers getting their flu vaccine

Nasal spray vaccine
Nati Harnik/Associated Press
Good news for children under three years! Toddlers receive the same protective antibody response from the recommended two doses of licensed seasonal flu vaccines administered through any of these methods:
  • Injected by needle
  • Inhaled through nasal spray
  • Provided through one dose of each, in any order

The goal of the study, funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), was to determine whether giving two types of vaccines works just as well.

Even better, the researchers found that the toddlers who received at least one dose of the nasal spray vaccine—a live, attenuated influenza virus vaccine (LAIV)—made a wide array of immune T cells. Stimulating broad T-cell responses may be important for protection against many diverse flu strains.

This is good news for parents as well. My son seems to bring home every bug that goes through his daycare, so it's good to know that we can help prevent at least one. Getting your little one vaccinated also protects their playmates, teachers, parents, and other caregivers. Please make sure that you talk to your doctor about immunizations. If in doubt, feel free to read some of my blogs on vaccines, particularly the one titled "Vaccines are a victim of their own success."

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