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Q:

Should I request the H1N1 shot when it is is available?

"I am a 68 year old woman who gets the regular flu shot every year. I want to know if I should request the H1N1 shot when it is available. I watch two children in my home on every Sunday who are 11 and 7 years of age. I don't want to worry that they will carry the H1N1 flu from school and bring it into my home. I don't want my husband infected, nor my daughter, her husband, and her son, who live downstairs in my home. My granddaughter is also pregnant, but if she visits here, I am worried about those children I watch for 2 hours on Sunday, spreading the germs from their school. What do you suggest?"

Asked by Carol via email.
In Topics: H1N1 Flu (Swine Flu), Physical Health
> 60 days ago

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Expert

Wayne Yankus
Sep 5, 2009
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What the Expert Says:

Great question.  Those of us over 60 are not eligible for the H1N1 vaccine unless there is an oversupply (doubtful).  Your daughter is the first and highest priority as a pregnant women.  The second priority would be household caretakers of infants under six months of age which may in fact be you. Third priority is health care workers and final is children six months to 24 years. (may be moved to 18 years if supply is short).  The vaccine is distributed to states by the federal government and then to county health departments and possibly to individual physicians.  Check with your medical home to see what the local game plan is.

Wayne Yankus, MD, FAAP
expert panelist: pediatrics
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