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Thursday, August 13, 2009

Here Comes the Swine Flu Vaccine

Last week, the Center for Disease Control's ACIP—or Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices—met to decide who should receive the new swine flu vaccinewhen it becomes available this fall, probably sometime in September or October.  The CDC isn't expecting a shortage of the new H1N1 vaccine; but because availability and demand are unpredictable, they've come up with a priority list.  From high priority to low, they recommended the vaccine be given to:


  • Pregnant women
  • Household contacts and caregivers for children under 6 months of age
  • Healthcare and emergency services personnel
  • Children 6 months through 18 years of age
  • Young adults 19 through 25 years of age
  • Adults 26 through 64 years of age who have health complications associated with high influenza risk
  • Other adults 26 through 64
  • Adults 65 and over

The swine flu vaccine won't replace the flu vaccine already in use—they're meant to be used together.  And for people who do come down with flu symptoms, or are in contact with a sick person, prescription anti-virals—like Tamiflu and Relenza—should be readily available.