03/12/2009 03:56 GMT | Updated 22/05/2015 06:12 BST

Santa's Scared Of Swine Flu

It would seem everyone is worried about getting swine flu - and that includes Santa. Obviously not the big man himself, though. I mean, he's magical and probably above such thoughts.

But not so the team of actors who take on the role in the lead up to Christmas in America. They're so worried they have demanded priority when it comes to the vaccine.

That seems a bit extreme to me. Where would it stop? What about everyone who works in toy departments? Or children's entertainers?

The Boston Herald has reported that the group Santa America is urging health authorities to let the fake Father Christmases be near the front of the queue for the H1N1 vaccination.

Ernest Berger of the group reckons the men should be priority because they're exposed to large numbers of children. Not only that but research suggests obesity is a risk factor for swine flu and we all know Santa is not on the slim side.

Berger believes many of the men are at least 100 pounds overweight and they're more at risk than, for example, teachers and nursery workers because they see large numbers of different children.

It's a two-way street. If Santa picks up the germ there's a chance he will be spreading more than goodwill this festive season.

It's not just this year though that Santa is at risk from getting the flu. Even during normal flu seasons sick children are an occupational hazard according to Ric Erwin, secretary of the Fraternal Order of Real-Bearded Santas.

He told the Herald that the bearded, red-suited actors should "probably get [the vaccine] before the general public".

Parents are being urged by health officials to keep their children at home if they are ill, which you'd hope they'd do anyway.

Source (Parentdish)