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Too Old To Get H1N1 Vaccine

Posted Nov 19 2009 10:02pm

If you are over age 64 and you  want the H1N1 flu vaccine (swine flu) forget it!  Even if you meet the criteria set forth by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) you will not be allowed to get the vaccine.   I know, today I was refused a shot.   This development has great significance for everyone over 64 and especially transplant patients with compromised immune systems. 

According to the CDC website ( http://www.cdc.gov/h1n1flu/highrisk.htm ) these are the criteria for getting an H1N1 shot:

1. People at High Risk for Developing Flu-Related Complications

2. People who have medical conditions including:

  • Asthma
  • Neurological and neurodevelopmental conditions [including disorders of the brain, spinal cord, peripheral nerve, and muscle such as cerebral palsy, epilepsy (seizure disorders), stroke, intellectual disability (mental retardation), moderate to severe developmental delay, muscular dystrophy, or spinal cord injury].  
  • Chronic  lung disease   (such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease  [COPD] and cystic fibrosis)
  • Heart disease (such as congenital heart disease, congestive heart failure and coronary artery disease)  
  • Blood disorders (such as sickle cell disease)
  • Endocrine disorders (such as diabetes mellitus)
  • Kidney disorders
  • Liver disorders
  • Metabolic disorders (such as inherited metabolic disorders and mitochondrial disorders)
  • Weakened immune system due to disease or medication (such as people with HIV or AIDS, or cancer, or those on chronic steroids) 

 

 

I fit into three of the criteria.  I have asthma, COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) I am over 65 and because of my heart transplant two years ago I have a suppressed immune system.  My transplant cardiologists strongly recommend that people like me should get the H1N1 shot yet when I showed up at the clinic today I was told by the nurse that I couldn’t have the shot because I was over 64.  I double and triple checked to see if that is true and it is.  The government doesn’t care if your health is at great risk from H1N1 if you are over 64.  What I infer from this regulation is that CDC has determined that people my age don’t have much time left anyway so lets not waste vaccine on them even if they meet other criteria.

 

I would immediately agree that children and pregnant women should get the vaccine ahead of all others.  That only seems fair and fairness is all I ask.  Never before in my life have I been told I was too old for something.  This smacks of governmental age discrimination.

If you agree that this situation is unfair and discriminatory let your congressional delegation know.  Call them, email them or stop them on the street.  CDC should not be allowed to say one thing in public and then introduce restrictions in private.

 

Please visit and join my Facebook site, Organ Transplant Patients, Families and Friends at  http://tinyurl.com/225cfh   OR — my Facebook home page   http://www.facebook.com/home.php

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