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Americans Urged To Get Seasonal Influenza Vaccine Early
Date:9/10/2009

uestions covered a wide range of topics.

Of those who had questions, the most common related to how to keep from getting influenza (13 percent), the effectiveness of seasonal influenza vaccines (12 percent), the seriousness of flu/how many people die from it (11 percent), how easily flu spreads (9 percent) and when the best time is to get vaccinated (8 percent). These questions were addressed in detail by the experts during the news conference.

Although vaccination remains the first line of defense against influenza, antiviral medications are available to help treat influenza. These medications are most effective when started within 48 hours of the first symptoms. Antivirals may also be used in certain situations to help prevent influenza in individuals exposed to the influenza virus. Currently, antivirals can effectively treat certain seasonal influenza strains and the novel H1N1 influenza.

Children and Pregnant Women among those Recommended for Both Seasonal and H1N1 Vaccination This Year

Children and pregnant women will need to be vaccinated with two different influenza vaccines this year - the one against seasonal influenza and the vaccine now being developed against novel H1N1 influenza. Every year, children 6 months through 18 years of age, regardless of medical conditions, and pregnant women are recommended for seasonal influenza vaccination.

"Health care professionals should be among the first in line for both vaccines," said Gregory A. Poland, MD, director, Mayo Vaccine Research Group, Mayo Clinic and chair, Adult Immunization Advisory Board, American College of Physicians. "They need to set a good example for their patients by getting vaccinated, which will keep them healthy and at work and, most importantly, will reduce the chances of them passing influenza to vulnerable patients in their care." Dr. Poland also commented on why protecting everyon
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SOURCE National Foundation for Infectious Diseases
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