As the flu season approaches, the United States government is not taking any chances with the possibility of a Swine Flu epidemic in America. According to a recent article in Time Magazine, sometime in October and November of this year, federal officials will begin undertaking a huge campaign to get people vaccinated against the H1N1 strain of Swine Flu virus. But which groups of people should be top of the list for who gets the H1N1 vaccine? According to the Centers for Disease Control, there are five key groups of people for whom getting vaccinated should be a priority.
The Swine Flu H1N1 Virus: Who Should Get Vaccinated? – Pregnant women
Pregnant women are at a higher risk for complications resulting from contracting Swine Flu H1N1. They are also more likely to be caring for infants who cannot yet be vaccinated, so immunizing the mother provides some protection for their infants.
The Swine Flu H1N1 Virus: Who Should Get Vaccinated? – Those between the ages of 6 months and 24 years
Children and young adults are in very close contact with each other in day care, school, and other social settings, thus making them more likely to transmit viruses like Swine Flu amongst each other.
The Swine Flu H1N1 Virus: Who Should Get Vaccinated? – Health care and emergency medical service workers
People who work in the health care profession are frequently responsible for direct patient care. This proximity to patients makes them more likely to transmit a virus to them. Also, if too many health care workers became ill and stayed home from work, that would leave less people to care for sick patients.
The Swine Flu H1N1 Vaccine: Who Should Get Vaccinated?- Those who care for infants under 6 months of age
These infants are at high risk for illnesses resulting from flu-related complications and cannot be vaccinated. Vaccinating their caretakers is the next best thing to protecting them.
The Swine Flu H1N1 Vaccine: Who Should Get Vaccinated? – The chronically ill
Anyone between the ages of 25 and 64 who has a medical condition that could worsen if they contract a virus are strongly urged to get the Swine Flu H1N1 vaccine.
Once the demand to vaccinate these key groups has been met, the Centers for Disease Control will advise health care providers to begin to vaccinating everyone between the ages of 25 and 64.
Time Magazine August 17, 2009 “Inside the fight against a flu pandemic”, vol 174 No. 6, pp 27-28