Ready for Flu Season
Click here for an exclusive interview with Dr. Yvonne Maldonado, chief of infectious disease at Packard Children's Hospital at Stanford.
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), you should go to the head of the line to receive a vaccine for swine flu (a.k.a. H1N1) as soon as it becomes available if you:
• are pregnant
• have a child younger than 6 months
• are a health care worker
Who should be right behind you in line? Kids. Young people ages 6 months to 24 years should get priority access to the vaccine.
Be sure to protect yourself against the seasonal flu, too. (The swine flu vaccine won’t do the job.) The CDC recommends that children ages 6 months to 18 years also get a seasonal flu vaccine. Ditto if you’re pregnant or have a child under 6 months. (Infants younger than 6 months can’t be vaccinated against either flu, but if their caregivers are, it helps reduce the chance that those infants will get the illness.)
Susan Hayes is a freelance writer who lives in Brooklyn, NY. She is the co-author of 7 Steps to Raising a Bilingual Child.