Protection against swine flu for two year old traveling out of the country

Patient

Q: This is regarding my two year old son. We will be traveling out of India early next month and my concern is regarding protecting him from H1N1 fever during and after the long journey. Is there a vaccination available that he can be administered before we travel, if so, how much ahead of our travel should it be given. What is the degree of protection that it will provide? His immunization schedules are up to date, however he hasn't had any influenza vaccinations till date, should we administer this too before we travel? Thank you for your time and consideration.

Doctor

A:   I understand your concern about H1N1 vaccine due to your near travel. Certainly there is a vaccine for H1N1 and is included in the yearly Flu Vaccine.
The 2010-2011 flu vaccine will protect against an influenza A H3N2 virus, an influenza B virus and the 2009 H1N1 virus that caused so much illness last season. Everyone 6 months of age and older should get vaccinated against the flu as soon as the 2010-2011 season vaccine is available, if this is the first time your child would receive a Flu shot, he would need two at least. Usually your body would take around 2 weeks to build antibodies after the vaccine is applied.
This vaccine should be available no later than September; you might want to contact your local hospital for availability.

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