DEAR MAYO CLINIC: I'm confused about whether or not to get the H1N1 vaccination once it's available. I stay home with small children, which puts me in the "higher risk" category, but I wonder how necessary it is. If I am otherwise healthy, should I really subject myself to a new vaccination that we know little about?
ANSWER: Caregivers, such as yourself, and others who frequently come in contact with children younger than 6 months of age should receive the vaccine as one of our first priorities in vaccinating against the novel H1N1 influenza virus. This is because younger infants are at higher risk for influenza-related complications but are too young to receive the vaccines, as the vaccines will not work to give them immunity against the virus. Getting an H1N1 flu vaccine will help protect yourself, your children, and others by preventing your infection and transmission of the virus to those around you.
KFSM, Medical Edge Column, 10/15/09