Are Universal Flu Shots on the Horizon?
Mounting research suggests that, ifmore individuals received the flu vaccine,the whole population would bebetter protected. The recommendationis especially important for children, whotend to pass infection to older individuals,according to Walter Orenstein, MD,director of Emory University's Programfor Vaccine Policy and Development.
A recent conference on the flu vaccinepolicy questioned whether thecurrent flu vaccine strategy is effective.As of now, babies 6 months to 23months old, individuals over 50, andall persons with chronic health problemsare advised to get vaccinated toward off infection. A universal vaccinerecommendation may be a good idea,but at-risk individuals should be first inline. Also, a strategy needs to be inplace for how to distribute it.
Health care experts support "movingtoward universal influenza immunization,"said pediatrician Carol Baker, MD,but "the final consensus was that itshould be a stepwise process."