State data shows that infants are five times more likely to be hospitalized or die from the swine flu. So far officials say 595 infants have been hospitalized from the H1N1 virus in California and seven have died.
“Infants, those under one year of age, have the highest risk of hospitalization of any other group for H1N1.”
Dr. Gil Chavez is an infectious disease specialist with the California Department of Public Health. He says many of these infants get sicker from the virus because of underlying health conditions. But he says it’s also tied to the babies’ moms. Chavez says if pregnant women get vaccinated the baby will have immunity from the virus for six months after birth.
“It’s very critical that pregnant women get vaccinated to protect themselves and protect their babies as well.”
Chavez says it’s also important for caregivers of infants to get vaccinated too. That’s because babies under six months of age cannot get the H1N1 vaccine.