ASK DR.MOORE October 15, 2004
Dr. Mark Moore, author of the gender selection book Baby Girl or Baby Boy--Choose the Sex of Your Child, answers readers' questions on pregnancy and pediatrics.
VACCINE SHORTAGE ALERT
Dr.Moore: There is a severe shortage of the Influenza Vaccine this season. Chiron, the major manufacture of the U.S. supply has been suspended by the British Department of Health. This means that if you planned flu shots for your family it may not be available. Call your family doctor or local health clinic and ask if the have the vaccine in stock before you go. You might consider an appointment today after work or visit an after hours clinic if you work late.
The flu vaccine is strongly recommended for pregnant women, children age 6 months to 2 years, adults over age 65, health care workers, and persons with certain medical conditions, as well as, relatives and care givers of any of the above.
For most flu sufferers, the ten-day ailment of head and body aches, fever and cold symptoms are more of an inconvenience than a threat to life. It is, however, a formidable disease accounting for as many U.S. deaths annually as motor vehicle accidents.
Most doctors recommend everyone that can be vaccinated should be vaccinated. Though the risk-benfit ratio is favorable, that is, the benefits of immunization far outweigh the risks, each family should make this decision in discussion with their family doctor or health provider.
Expect your child to be cranky for a day after their flu shot. This can be remedied with a dose of ibuprofen or acetaminophen.
Again, to insure you get this season's flu shot, schedule your appointment as soon as you can.
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Readers may send questions to our email address. This column is for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional or medical advice.
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