New CDC Recommendation For Kids

kid_immDid you know that most H1N1 flu-related deaths have been caused by bacterial pneumonia that swooped in as a complication of the flu itself? The pneumonia is most often caused by a common bug called pneumococcus. Because of this, federal officials are urging groups at greatest risk to add the pneumococcal vaccine to their swine flu regimen. As more cases are studied, the CDC is learning new information about how the virus operates, including these facts that parents should know.

Children and teens are among those at high risk of getting the flu, perhaps because they tend to congregate in places like schools where they’re in close contact. They will be included in those groups scheduled to receive the new swine flu vaccine as soon as it’s ready, but that may still be weeks away.

In the meantime, there is something else you can do. Ask you doctor if the pneumonia vaccine (known as pneumococcal conjugate vaccine, brand name Pneumovax) is appropriate for your child. Many kids receive it before age 5 as part of the routine childhood immunization schedule, so check and see if your child has had it.

“All children under 5 should receive the pneumococcal conjugate vaccine and people with chronic illness at high risk of pneumonia between the ages of 2 and 64, and those older than 65 should receive an additional pneumonia vaccine known as PPSV23”, CDC officials said.

We know this may sound like alphabet soup, so ask your doctor which vaccines are right for your family,

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Ellen and Rachel are two old friends and “expert” mamas—one a pediatrician and one a family therapist—with fifty years of parenting experience between them.

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The Mama ButtonThe information provided by MamasOnCall is not intended as a substitute for professional advice, but is for information purposes only. You assume full responsibility for the health and well-being of your family. Talk with your healthcare provider about any questions you may have regarding a medical or psychiatric condition.