New information on the H1N1 vaccine was released yesterday. Studies regarding the effectiveness of the vaccine are showing that only 1 dose is needed for adults and children over the age of 10. Recipients of the vaccine are showing immunity to H1N1 kicks in around 1-2 weeks after vaccination.
Unfortunately, for smaller children, (6 months to 9 years of age) two doses will be necessary to produce an adequate immune response. These two doses can be given 3 weeks (21 days) apart. This is in addition to the seasonal flu vaccine. Although most pediatricians' offices already have the seasonal flu vaccine, the H1N1 vaccine will not be available until October. The Center for Disease Control and the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that all children 6 months of age and older receive both the H1N1 and the seasonal flu vaccine.
How to Clean Toys to Kill H1N1:
H1N1 is fairly easy to kill and with proper care it should not be too difficult to disinfect your childrens' toys. It is important to keep in mind however that "flu viruses, including H1N1, can survive 8-12 hours on paper or cloth, 24-48 hours on non-porous surfaces like doorknobs s, and up to 72 hours on wet surfaces such as towels."
Diluted bleach is effective when cleaning toys or non-porous surfaces. A dilute bleach solution can be made by mixing10 parts water to 1 part bleach. Alternatively, plastic toys can often be washed in the dishwasher.
Stuffed animals or other porous toys can be disinfected by washing and drying the on the hottest cycle possible.
Lastly, children should be encouraged not to share utensils, cups or towels.
For more information on how to disinfect your home if your child does contract H1N1, visit the following website.