KCUR News
10:57 am
Wed August 19, 2009

H1N1 Vaccine Tests On Children Begin Today In KC

Kansas City, MO – H1N1 vaccine testing on children starts today, and Children's Mercy Hospital is one of five places nationwide to take part in the study.

Dr. Christopher Harrison heads infectious disease research at Children's Mercy and is overseeing the trial of some hundred twenty children there.

Dr. Harrison said while testing kids can be a sensitive issue, research is essential.

"Children are a group that's more likely to get more ill with this particular illness," he explained. "We don't want to just be like "step children" to adult data. We need data in children so we can be comfortable we're doing the right thing."

Vaccine tests on adults began in the U.S. about a week ago.

Dr. Harrison said at Children's Mercy, researchers are specifically looking at whether an enhanced dosage of the H1N1 vaccine works any better or faster than a standard dose in a child.

Seasonal influenza vaccines typically take a couple weeks after they're administered to become protective against the flu.

Health officials plan to distribute that vaccine pretty soon throughout this area, and hope to have the H1N1 vaccine ready by October.

Funding for health care coverage on KCUR has been provided by the Health Care Foundation of Greater Kansas City.

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