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Swine Flu Vaccine FAQs

When will the swine flu vaccine be available?

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) the swine flu vaccine will not be made available until flu season. At that time, Scientific American reports that the flu shot made available in the late summer will not include inoculation against the swine flu. This means that once the swine flu shot is released the public will need both the swine (H1N1) flu vaccine and the seasonal flu vaccine.

How many shots do I have to get?

Initial reports were that people would have to get a series of two shots for the H1N1 flu, and one shot to protect against the seasonal flu, but this has now been reduced to a single shot for each. This news bodes well because it increases the likelihood that people will get the recommended vaccinations. People are less likely to go to the doctor three times for full protection against the seasonal and the swine flu. With only two shots requires, a greater proportion of the population will be protected.

Will I get the H1N1 flu from the swine flu vaccine?

Getting sick from any flu vaccine is impossible. The shots today are made from dead forms of the virus which cannot cause infections in people. Some people report getting the flu shortly after getting their shot, but this was likely one of the many flu strains which spreads throughout the flu season.

Researchers prepare flu shots based upon what they believe will be the dominant strain of the flu. During the 2009 flu season, reports from the World Health Organization (WHO) have shown that the main type of flu causing infections was the swine flu. For many, getting only a swine flu shot might be enough protection during the 2009 flu season, but this does not mean that the seasonal flu shot should be shunned. It is always in a person's best interests to get inoculated against the seasonal flu. This will help to prevent an outbreak of both the seasonal and swine flu viruses. A dual pandemic could be devastating to businesses and economies around the world in lost employee time and productivity.

Who will be allowed to get the swine flu vaccine?

At first, health care workers and those at risk for serious complications will be first in line to get the H1N1 (swine) flu vaccine. Too often, doctors and nurses will continue to go to work even if they become ill, due to severe staffing constraints and a lack of qualified personnel in medical facilities. When this happens, it can put the patients at risk for contracting the disease carried by the sick health care worker. Some hospitals have decided to require the seasonal flu shot for all of their employees. This will likely include the swine flu vaccine when it becomes readily available.

People who do not work directly in caring for the ill will have to wait unless they are at significant risk for complications which have been the sole cause of the thousands of swine flu deaths. This group includes pregnant women, those with chronic respiratory illnesses, those with compromised immune systems and the very young.

Getting a swine flu shot should be done by as many people as possible as soon as they are made available to the group into which one might belong.



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