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Many Kids Need 2 Doses of Flu Vaccine | News

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Many Kids Need 2 Doses of Flu Vaccine

ATLANTA -- While most people will need only one flu shot or spray to guard against H1N1 and the seasonal flu, this year, many children will need two, according to the CDC.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends two doses of 2010-11 flu vaccine for children 6 months through 8 years of age unless they received at least one dose of 2009 H1N1 vaccine last flu season and at least one dose of seasonal vaccine prior to the 2009-2010 flu season or two doses of seasonal flu vaccine last flu season.

The first dose "primes" the immune system, while the second dose provides immune protection, according to the CDC. The second dose should be given 28 or more days after the first dose.

North Atlanta Pediatrics explains it this way on its website:

This year's vaccine contains three strains, including H1N1. The CDC says vaccine may be given as soon as medical offices receive the vaccine.

There have been some changes in who will need two doses this year. These include the following circumstances for children who are 6 months to 8 years old:

*If they have not had a seasonal flu vaccine before
*If last year was their first year to get a flu vaccine and they only got one, they will need two this year
*If last year they did not get any H1N1 vaccine they will need two seasonal flu vaccines this year (even if they have had two seasonal flu shots)
*If history of H1N1 vaccination cannot be determined