A U.S. government media event to promote H1N1 school vaccinations on Friday included VIPs, cute kids and a phalanx of television cameras -- but only one in five children at the school had proper parental consent to get immunized. . .
But the small numbers also underscored the challenge facing the U.S. government's $6.4 billion immunization effort which involves the widespread use of schools as vaccine clinics for the first time in a generation.
H1N1 poses a greater danger of severe illness and death for children and young people than seasonal flu, which is particularly dangerous for the elderly.
Another [problem] was that the only vaccine on offer was AstraZeneca unit MedImmune's nasal spray, which is unsuitable for children with underlying conditions such as asthma. [It historically is less effective than injections, and effectiveness of flu vaccines in children is even more uncertain than in adults, but since the spray is available first, we are giving it to our children before there is even adequate data in adults.]