Health experts expect the swine flu virus (H1N1) to come back in the late Fall and Winter. To prepare for that, the United States is preparing to vaccinate around 160 million people. The vaccination will require two doses, and it will start around the middle of October.
If there is not enough of the vaccine to do the full 160 million people, then it will be pared back by risk groups. The first groups to be vaccinated will be health workers. That makes sense. We may need those health workers to take care of the rest of us.
Then comes people who work with babies, and children between six months and four years. They will be followed by young people with high-risk medical conditions, and finally other young people and young adults.
The pleasant surprise for me is that older people are not scheduled to receive the vaccination at all. Normally, us old codgers are one of the at-risk groups that must get a flu vaccination. The last couple of years, my doctor hasn't even asked. She just stuck the needle in my arm.
Why is this year different? Well, it seems that us oldies have more immunity to this virus than younger people do. That's because we were alive in 1957 and exposed to the virus that year. That exposure gives us a pretty good immunity to this year's swine flu virus.
There aren't too many advantages to being old, but I guess this is one.