XT-INDENT: 0in">Health officials in the
XT-INDENT: 0in">The move has cut the
XT-INDENT: 0in">To help conserve the vaccine and ensure that high-risk groups have access to the vaccine, the CDC is asking anyone not in a priority group to forego a flu vaccination this season.
XT-INDENT: 0in">Priority groups for influenza vaccination this season are:
XT-INDENT: 0in"> all children ages 6 to 23 months
XT-INDENT: 0in"> adults ages 65 and older
XT-INDENT: 0in"> all people with underlying chronic medical conditions
XT-INDENT: 0in"> all women who will be pregnant during the flu season
XT-INDENT: 0in"> residents of nursing homes
children over 6 months of age who take aspirin daily
caregivers and household contacts of children under the age of 6 months
The flu season generally runs from November through March. Symptoms include high fever (102Ί to 104Ί Fahrenheit), pronounced fatigue and weakness, body aches, coughing and chest discomfort. The 2003-2004 flu season was particularly dangerous, resulting in the deaths of 152 children from complications of the flu, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). Of those fatalities, 41 percent were children under the age of 2.
This year, the CDC recommends flu shots for the following populations:
children and adults with heart, respiratory or immune disorders
healthy babies and toddlers between ages 6 months and 24 months
people over the age of 50
people who live with, work with or come in frequent contact with any of the above populations
The American Lung Association has established a Web site (www.findaflushot.com/lungusa) that helps you locate a health-care provider who is giving flu shots this season. Simply enter your zip code, preferred traveling distance and the time you would like to get vaccinated, and a list of providers will be supplied. The site also offers information about the vaccine shortage and the high-risk groups who will still be able to get the flu shot.
More About the Flu
If, like many people, you have difficulty telling the difference between a bad cold and the flu. You'll want to read our tips on how to tell Is it a cold or the flu?