Health officials in Nova Scotia are providing more information about the availability of the H1N1 vaccine for children.
Dr. Robert Strang, the chief public health officer, said yesterday healthy children aged three to nine years will need only one dose of vaccine.
But he said all children between six months and three years of age, and children three to nine years who have immunity issues, will need a second dose.
Strang said the second dose should come a minimum of 21 days after the first dose, meaning the first children to be vaccinated three weeks ago will begin qualifying for a second shot today.
Children aged three to nine who have a chronic medical condition like asthma or diabetes, but who do not have immunity issues, will also need a second dose of vaccine.
However, Strang said it's safe for that group to receive the second shot after other at-risk groups.
“They will have developed good immunity from the first dose, and we know that it will last them a number of weeks,” he explained. “We’ll get to those other kids over time as we get a more robust supply of vaccine.”
Strang acknowledged that further sub-dividing existing groups could lead to confusion, and encouraged the public to log onto the Department of Health’s website for clarification.
“We spent a long time trying to simplify this as much as we can,” Strang said. “We’re also making sure our physician colleagues and frontline health workers have this information to walk the public through this process.”
– with files from The Canadian Press