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Friday, August 27, 2010

Flash Back -flu shot

I'm glad it's not this time last year when the big Swine Flu or H1N1 was hitting the news! There seemed to be a lot of panic and school closings going on. And since asthma complicates any respiratory infection, I was very worried about my kids. (They've already been hospitalized 12 times thanks to asthma)

They kept mentioning the high risk groups to get immunized, which included pregnant women and also chronic disease. But seldom did they say the actual word "asthma". I even had someone from a health department say, "asthma? you're not in the high risk category". Oh YES WE ARE!

The Assistant Surgeon General was in town recently speaking about immunizations. I heard her several times refer to people with asthma as being high risk and needing immunizations. She also cautioned that they not get the nasal spray, but instead the injection.

Since the nasal spray is a live inactivated virus, it's not recommended for people with weakened immune systems or asthma. And you need to check with your doctor if you have recently been on steroids, because that can impair your immune system for a time. apparently, the H1N1 vaccine is combined with the annual flu shot this year, so that's good news. That means one shot for most of us, but I think they're still recommending children under 9 receive 2 doses. So ask your doctor or local health department.

I'm hoping there aren't lines this year for the flu shot-last year we waited for 2 hours. But I knew my kids would absolutely end up being hospitalized if they contracted the flu.

So, roll up your sleeves, take a deep breath and get that flu shot. Be a good example for your kids, go first and put on a happy face. Then afterwards, take them out for ice cream as a reward for getting their flu shot!

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