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Who is First in Line for Swine Flu Vaccine?

Posted Aug 27 2009 11:37pm

Who should get priority access to swine flu (H1N1) vaccine this fall?  An advisory committee has decided: iStock_000009263339Medium

  • pregnant women,
  • people who live with or care for children younger than 6 months of age,
  • health care and emergency services personnel,
  • persons between the ages of 6 months through 24 years of age, and
  • people from ages 25 through 64 years who are at higher risk for novel H1N1 because of chronic health disorders or compromised immune systems.

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) does not expect there will be a shortage of vaccine, but if there is, the priority list changes slightly. The agency hopes the vaccine will start being delivered by mid October.  Flu outbreaks will likely occur at different times across the country.

People over age 65 seem to be less vulnerable to the H1N1 virus, but the committee emphasized that older people should get the seasonal flu vaccine “As soon as it is available.” Every year about 36,000 people die in the U.S. alone of seasonal flu.  Children under 2, people over 65, and people with certain medical conditions are at greatest risk of complications from flu.

It will be possible to get both the seasonal and H1N1 vaccines at the same time if both are available.

Fly symptoms usually include a sudden high fever, dry cough, headache, muscle and joint pain, sore throat and runny nose.

According to the CDC, these groups are at highest risk of complications from flu:

  • Children less than 5 years old;
  • Persons aged 65 years or older;
  • Children and adolescents (less than 18 years) who are receiving long-term aspirin therapy and who might be at risk for experiencing Reye syndrome after influenza virus infection;
  • Pregnant women;
  • Adults and children who have chronic pulmonary, cardiovascular, hepatic, hematological, neurologic, neuromuscular, or metabolic disorders;
  • Adults and children who have immunosuppression (including immunosuppression caused by medications or by HIV);
  • Residents of nursing homes and other chronic-care facilities.
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