Health Watch -- Flu Prevention: Who Needs It?

Health Watch is a Public Service of the Office of News and Publications and is intended to provide general information only and should not replace the advice of a medical professional. You should contact your physician if you have questions about any of these topics.

This week on Health Watch, we're talking about how you can protect yourself and your family from the flu. This is the ideal time to have a flu shot for full protection this flu season, but who needs to be vaccinated?

The CDC recommends that children aged 6 months to 5 years, pregnant women, people over the age of 50 and anyone of any age with a chronic medical condition be vaccinated. People who live with or care for people in these high-risk groups should also get a flu shot. People with Medicare Part B can usually get a flu shot at no cost. Dr. James Luby, an infectious diseases expert at UT Southwestern Medical Center, says preventing the flu is important to help avoid serious complications such as pneumonia, which can be life-threatening in high-risk groups.

Next: Vaccinating one particular group can really help stop the spread of the flu.


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October 2006

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