What's going around? The U.S. has seen a steady drop in H1N1 infections in the past few weeks. In fact, I have not diagnosed a child with H1N1 in about 10 days. Yippee!!! Of course, the usual germ suspects have made their annual trek into town— viral croup, RSV bronchiolitis, and Strep throat. And oddly, kids in my community are also coming down with Hand, Foot , And Mouth (coxsackievirus) which we usually see in the spring and summer. So, there is no rest for the weary.
Is it too late to get the H1N1 vaccine? Should you bother getting your child the H1N1 vaccine at this point? Yes, we still think your child should get the H1N1 vaccine. No it isn't too late! I don't think we are done with H1N1, particularly with the holiday travel season upon us. My practice has a decent amount of both H1N1 shots and nasal spray now, so I assume other practices who have ordered the vaccine have more now too.
What about seasonal flu vaccine? More good news, the seasonal flu SHOT supply is also much better than it is was a few weeks ago. So, now kids over two years of age can get seasonal flu shot and H1N1 nasal spray or shot at the same time (there is a 4 week interval required between H1N1 and seasonal flu nasal sprays). The U.S. seen virtually no seasonal flu yet this year. Those viruses usually show up in late December/January/February. So, if you or your kids have not gotten seasonal flu vaccine yet, now would be a good time to get that done!
More vaccine info: The American Academy of Pediatrics just launched a great new website for vaccine information (not just for flu). Bookmark this page: http://www.aap.org/immunization/