FLU SHOT: Recommended for Those 50 and Older
People age 50 and older should receive annual flu shots, up from an earlier recommendation of those 65 and older, a CDC advisory panel determined last week. The new recommendation was sparked by the 24%-32% of people ages 50-65 who have at least one chronic health condition, placing them at high risk of hospitalization and death should they contract the flu. In 1997, only 40% of those ages 50-64, with chronic conditions received flu vaccinations. The committee also recommended that large-scale vaccination programs should start mid-October or later to "reduce the chance that [the] vaccine will not be available." The CDC generally adopts the committee's recommendations, which also are followed by physicians (AP/Houston Chronicle, 4/15).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.