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The flu/ H1N1 vaccination

Posted by: Sharmila Rajah Post(s) by this blogger

 

The following day we headed to Ayanna's pediatrician to receive the H1N1 vaccination. It's given in two doses, a month apart. Toddlers below 3 receive half the dosage, and it is contained within the flu shot.


What is it?


The H1N1 vaccine will immunize or partially immunize your toddler for a limited amount of time against the H1N1 virus. The vaccine is made in part from an inactive strain of the H1N1 virus. Once the shot has been given, their immune system produces antibodies against the strain of virus in the vaccine. These antibodies are effective after two weeks from when the vaccination was taken. If your toddler is exposed to the H1N1 virus, these antibodies will either prevent infection or reduce the severity of the illness. It is considered the most effective way to protect your toddler from contracting the flu during a pandemic.


How is the H1N1 vaccine made?


It is very similar to making the seasonal flu vaccine. It is made from fragments of inactivated H1N1 virus. Those fragments are gown in fertilized chicken eggs and then purified.


Side effects


Though the doctor said Ayanna should experience no side effects, that night her temperature was slightly elevated and she complained of body ache. So it is good to monitor them just in case.


Things to consider-


Talk to your doctor first if you're considering immunizing babies under 6 months; if you're allergic to eggs or have had an allergic reaction to a previous flu shot; or if your toddler has a fever ( doctors advise against taking the vaccination when your toddler's down with the fever but allows it if they have a cold/ runny nose).


Availability


Most private clinics tend to stock up on the flu shot (which is inclusive of the H1N1 vaccination) as do government clinics and hospitals.

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