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CDC Panel to Recommend Who Should Get Swine Flu Shot
Date:7/28/2009

"The next category should be school children. Not only is schools where flu spreads, but there isn't as much immunity in the younger population."

All these groups have been the most susceptible to the H1N1 swine flu, with the majority of hospitalizations and deaths. Unlike seasonal flu, which typically strikes hardest at the very young and the elderly, H1N1 swine flu has proven more troublesome for children and young adults. Scientists believe that older people might have some immunity to H1N1 viruses, which haven't been predominant flu strains for several decades.

Another infectious-disease expert said the twin threats of seasonal flu and the new H1N1 strain will require many people to get shots for both diseases and could pose management problems.

"This coming flu season will be quite different than those in the recent past as the new H1N1 swine flu strain will in all probability re-emerge and cause significant illness in at-risk people, such as young children and adolescents," said Dr. Pascal James Imperato, dean and distinguished service professor in the School of Public Health at SUNY Downstate Medical Center in New York City.

The seasonal flu vaccine will offer no protection against the H1N1 swine flu, he said.

"This means that some groups in the population will need to receive more than just one flu shot in order to be protected against all of the influenza strains in circulation," Imperato said. "This is an unusual circumstance and will require additional documentation effort on the part of those administering the flu vaccines and people receiving them to be sure that the appropriate immunizations are given."

"There may also be logistical challenges for patients and health-care providers as we attempt to deliver two different influenza vaccines during the same season," he added.

Then there's the lingering memory of the 1976 swine flu vaccination program, during which some 500 Americans c
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