CDC releases swine flu vaccination recommendations
In a press conference today, the CDC released the recommendations for swine flu shots. Rear Admiral Anne Schuchat, MD stated that there were five target populations that the CDC recommended be offered the H1N1 shot first. These populations are pregnant women, household contact with those under 6 months of age, health care workers, those 6 months thru the age of 24, and nonelderly individuals who are at increased risk because of underlying conditions. Anne Schuchat emphasized that it is important not to over prioritize as in the past when this was done, there was a lot of left over vaccines.
There are subpriorities, however these will only be used if there is a critical shortage of the flu shot. These include those who are pregnant, household contacts with those who are under 6 months of age, health care workers who have direct contact with patients, children who are 6 months to 4 years, and those who are from 5 to 15 years of age who have high risk for severe complications from the swine flu.
It was emphasized that education and promotion of the swine flu shot was extremely important. The seasonal flu shot is also important. It was stated that as soon as the seasonal vaccination is ready, it should be given. Those who are 65 and older have been relatively spared from H1N1, amazingly. It is suggested that these people get the seasonal flu shot.
Pregnant woman are much more likely to be hospitalized than others and to experience the severe complications. Education and promotion of both the seasonal and the H1N1 flu shots will be highly emphasized for pregnant women.
Swine flu symptoms include high fever, sore throat, weakness or fatigue, and body aches. It is important to stay home if you suspect that you are sick. The swine flu can be very mild or it can be very severe. At this point in time, the H1N1 is not completely understood. Only continuing clinical trials will tell more. In the meantime, the CDC says it will make updates as soon as they become available.
Source: CDC Press Conference July 29, 2009