Saturday, December 5, 2009

Elderly question flu shot controls:"65 and older face H1N1 vaccine limits"

George Anter knows he has a lot to be thankful for during the holidays.
The heart he received during a transplant procedure 12 years ago, for which he gives thanks every day, continues to do its job.
He has won bouts with prostate and skin cancer, and his non-Hodgkins lymphoma remains under control with chemotherapy.
His four children and four grandchildren are thriving in their careers and in school.
And in December, Anter and his wife, Madeline, will celebrate their 53rd wedding anniversary.
But as grateful as he is, the 74-year-old Anter admits one thing will be bugging him during the holidays.
"The truth is," the retired paper sales executive said last week, "when I think about not being able to get a swine flu shot, I get real pissed off."
Two months after H1N1 flu vaccine was first distributed to public health districts around the country, people 65 and older with serious medical conditions still can't get vaccinated.
Anter's doctors at Stanford University Hospital, where he received his transplant, tell him he has a compromised immune system and "the H1N1 flu could do me in."
He takes at least nine prescription medications daily to stay alive.
"But when I try to get a shot, I'm told I'm too old " he said as he sat in the study of his Peccole Ranch home.
"I feel that they see me and other older people as garbage and are just waiting for the trucks to come pick us up," Anter said.
"I served my country. I enlisted during the Korean War. You don't treat people this way just because they're older."
Picture Left:George Anter, 74, stands behind some of the medications that he uses to keep his ailments in check. Anter is angry that he is not eligible for a swine flu shot.(Photo by Craig L. Moran)

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