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They Say: Kids Should Get Swine Flu Vax, Not Most Adults

By jeannesager |

flu-vaccineNews that there will be only forty-five million swine flu vaccine doses avialable for millions more Americans might not be so bad after all. A new study indicates vaccinating kids and parents, skipping the rest of the adults, may be enough.

The initial call was for one hundred twenty million doses of the H1N1 vax to be available by October, but the latest reports put the number at less than half that expected at that time. More should be rolled out as the flu season rolls on, but there were worries that there wouldn’t be enough for the people at highest risk for the complications from the infection.

While the call has been put out for pregnant women and children to get the shots first anyway, followed by caregivers or parents, then helthcare workers and moving on down the line to cover the bulk of the population, the new study out of Yale and Clemson universities adjusts the schedule.

They say school kids, then parents, then healthcare workers. Then, they say, you can stop. The theory is those most likely to transmit the disease should be treated to maximize the vaccine. By preventing the spread, you no longer have to worry about complications – hence no need to treat people who would otherwise be at a higher risk.

Published in the medical journal Science, the study estimates only 40 million Americans will need to be vaccinated – which falls right in line with projected output by the vaccine makers.

You might want to hurry up anyway – or else they might end up on Tamiflu.

Image: flu vaccine.org

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About jeannesager

jeannesager

jeannesager

Jeanne Sager is a freelance writer and photographer living in upstate New York with her husband and daughter, Jillian. She maintains a blog of her award-winning columns at jeannesager.blogspot.com.

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0 thoughts on “They Say: Kids Should Get Swine Flu Vax, Not Most Adults

  1. Bec says:

    I heard an expert in virology on the radio last year saying that despite our gut reaction, in a REAL epidemic situation where a huge percentage of the population is at risk of dying, this would be entirely the wrong reaction. He said that although it sounds heartless and cruel, society will benefit most from vaccinating the able-bodied working adults. The elderly have less time to contribute, children are (brace yourselves) replaceable. But if parents die then children are helpless and will still die.

    It’s a terribly uncomfortable way to think. But it’s an interesting and different angle.

  2. beep says:

    This is absolutely a real epidemic, in the technical sense of the word, but luckily it is unlikely enough to kill lots of people at this point that we have to be very worried about sacrificing some for the sake of others. I am happy that these vaccines will go to those at highest risk of dying or having serious disease, and then to prevent infections in those at highest risk.

    Sometimes doing what is necessary in public health emergencies does make for uncomfortable choices, but thankfully not this time.

  3. Laure68 says:

    Bec, I totally understand the concept of protecting those who are useful to society. I don’t know if it would be a good idea to not protect the children, as we do need a certain number of children, or else in the future there will not be enough able-bodied adults. (If a large number of children around 10 years old, for example, were to perish, they would not be replaceable at that age. There would still be a large gap.)

    The only reason I am bringing this up is because there are many countries that are worried about low birth rates, and their affect on the future. More of a theoretical point than anything.

  4. [...] I’ve been sneezing over my keyboard all morning (which I’m trying hard not to blame on having walked into my daughter’s nursery school building to a swarm full of kids), so despite my preference to simply cook well-balanced meals all the time, I figured it didn’t hurt to see if there was a little something extra we could do this fall. Especially when you consider we’ve still got weeks to wait before the swine and seasonal flu shots are available. [...]

  5. [...] A study out of Yale and Clemson Universities indicates vaccinating kids and parents would be sufficient to stop the spread of the vaccine – it wouldn’t be necessary to innoculate the remainder of American adults. [...]

  6. [...] A study out of Yale and Clemson Universities indicates vaccinating kids and parents would be sufficient to stop the spread of the vaccine – it wouldn’t be necessary to innoculate the remainder of American adults. [...]

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