Experts: Vaccinate kids against H1N1 first

June 5, 2009
by Mark Roth
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

During most flu seasons, the group that gets top priority for vaccinations is the elderly.

But if the new H1N1 flu comes back in force this fall, it might be better to vaccinate children first, experts said at a news conference yesterday.

In the early stages of the epidemic this spring, the new flu strain has caused "explosive outbreaks" among schoolchildren who have no immunity to it, said David Fleming, public health director for Seattle and King County, Wash., which reported 430 confirmed cases through May.

While the impact of the H1N1 flu, or swine flu, is still evolving, "a critical target group for vaccinations is going to be younger children and particularly those with underlying health problems," said Dr. Fleming, who spoke at a news conference sponsored by the Trust for America's Health, a national public health advocacy group.

View the full story (some sites require registration)