CHAPEL HILL, N.C., Aug. 25 (UPI) — U.S. government officials urge everyone age 6 months and older to get an influenza shot, which contains vaccine against H1N1 and two other strains of flu.
In the past, government health officials focused on vaccinating people in ‘high-risk” groups — children, the elderly, pregnant women, those with chronic diseases and those in contact with people at high risk.
“The message is simple now,” Dr. David Weber, professor of medicine, pediatrics and epidemiology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, says in a statement. “If you’re more than 6 months of age, get the (influenza) vaccine.”
The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, an advisory group for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, recommends universal vaccination after last year’s H1N1 outbreak affected many teenagers and young adults — a group not normally at risk for influenza.
In addition, Weber says, the list of conditions that put a person at high risk for influenza has grown during the years so many people are unaware of their high-risk status.
Adults need only one dose, but children age 6 months to age 8 may need two doses, depending on which vaccines they received last year, Weber said.
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