Think about swine flu jab for kids

FRASER Coast parents are being urged to get their kids vaccinated against swine ’flu before the school term starts.

The Therapeutic Goods Administration has approved the vaccination for babies and children older than six months.

Queensland Health recommends the shot especially for indigenous children and children attending special schools.

Doctor Paul Cotton from Maryborough said the vaccine was available now and free of charge.“Swine ’flu has the potential to be dangerous and is easily transferable between people,” Dr Cotton said.

“You can either be vaccinated to protect yourself or you can be vaccinated because it’s socially responsible, for the protection of others, so more vulnerable people like grandma and grandpa don’t contract the virus.

“In a society where we live together we have to do these things for the protection and benefit of others as well as ourselves.”

Dr Cotton said side-effects of the vaccination were rare.

The vaccination may take a few weeks to be fully effective so getting the shot now should provide protection in time for the start of the school year.

Parents can do their bit to help stop the spread of the virus by encouraging their kids to wash hands, use tissues and cover their mouth and nose when coughing and sneezing.

Symptoms of swine ’flu are similar to those of the seasonal ’flu: a fever plus cough, runny nose, sore throat and nasal congestion.

Children with signs of the illness should be kept home from day-care or school.

Swine ’flu, or H1N1 influenza as it is officially known, is a different strain to seasonal ’flu.

Severe cases of swine ’flu are treated with anti-viral drugs.

The swine ’flu vaccination is expected to be incorporated into the seasonal ’flu vaccination later this year, Dr Cotton said.



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