Wednesday, October 12, 2011


Who should get vaccinated?

Everyone 6 months and older should get a flu vaccine each year. This recommendation has been in place since February 24, 2010 when CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) voted for “universal” flu vaccination in the U.S. to expand protection against the flu to more people. While everyone should get a flu vaccine each flu season, it’s especially important that certain people get vaccinated either because they are at high risk of having serious flu-related complications or because they live with or care for people at high risk for developing flu-related complications.

Who is at high risk for developing flu-related complications?

•Children younger than 5, but especially children younger than 2 years old
•Adults 65 years of age and older
•Pregnant women
•American Indians and Alaskan Natives seem to be at higher risk of flu complications
•People who have medical conditions including: ◦Asthma (even if it’s controlled or mild)
◦Neurological and neurodevelopmental conditions [including disorders of the brain, spinal cord, peripheral nerve, and muscle such as cerebral palsy, epilepsy (seizure disorders), stroke, intellectual disability (mental retardation), moderate to severe developmental delay, muscular dystrophy, or spinal cord injury]
◦Chronic lung disease (such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease [COPD] and cystic fibrosis)
◦Heart disease (such as congenital heart disease, congestive heart failure and coronary artery disease)
◦Blood disorders (such as sickle cell disease)
◦Endocrine disorders (such as diabetes mellitus)
◦Kidney disorders
◦Liver disorders
◦Metabolic disorders (such as inherited metabolic disorders and mitochondrial disorders)
◦Weakened immune system due to disease or medication (such as people with HIV or AIDS, or cancer, or those on chronic steroids)
◦People younger than 19 years of age who are receiving long-term aspirin therapy
◦People who are morbidly obese (Body Mass Index [BMI] of 40 or greater)

Who else should get vaccinated?

Other people for whom vaccination is especially important are:
•People who live in nursing homes and other long-term care facilities
•People who live with or care for those at high risk for complications from flu, including: ◦Health care workers
◦Household contacts of persons at high risk for complications from the flu
◦Household contacts and caregivers of children younger than 5 years of age with particular emphasis on vaccinating contacts of children younger than 6 months of age (children younger than 6 months are at highest risk of flu-related complications but are too young to get vaccinated)

Source: Centers for Disease Control

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