Navigation Links
Keep Your Flu Shots Straight This Fall

What you need to know about vaccinations for swine flu, regular flu

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 2 (HealthDay News) -- This fall, Americans will face a double challenge in getting shots for two strains of flu -- the H1N1 swine flu and the seasonal variety.

"Two different vaccines are probably going to be out there," said Dr. Christine Mhorag Hay, an assistant professor of medicine at the University of Rochester Medical Center in New York. "I think it will be confusing."

But keeping a few simple facts in mind should cut down on the confusion and help get the vaccine to everyone who needs it, experts said.

People, especially those considered at high risk -- such as pregnant women, young children and people with preexisting health conditions, such as diabetes -- may need three shots, not just one, to fully protect themselves this year.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention won't know until the early fall how many doses of swine flu vaccine will be most effective but, CDC spokesman Joe Quimby said, "It's believed that two doses will be required."

The good news is that the seasonal flu shot is ready and available now. "Public health folks are urging people to get the seasonal flu vaccine as soon as possible just to get it out of the way," Hay said.

Added Sharon A. Wilkerson, dean of the Texas A&M Health Science Center College of Nursing in College Station: "Regular flu is going to be hitting us by October. January-December is the usual peak time, so it's going to be early this year. People shouldn't be waiting for the swine flu vaccine to be out before they go ahead and get a regular flu shot."

Protection against the regular flu requires only one shot, except for children under 9 who have never had a shot before: They need two, Quimby said.

But the seasonal flu vaccine won't protect you against swine flu, said Dr. Gordon Dickinson, chief of infectious diseases at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine. "It has no benefit that we can tell against what's going to probably be the real villain this year, H1N1."

For protection against swine flu, you'll need the swine flu vaccine, which is expected to be ready by mid-October and can be administered at the same time as the seasonal flu. But the two doses of swine flu vaccine will be given three to four weeks apart, according to the CDC.

Meanwhile, the priority groups are slightly different for each vaccine.

For the seasonal flu vaccine, target groups include children aged 6 months to 19 years, pregnant women, adults 50 and over, residents of nursing homes and long-term care facilities, anyone with a chronic medical condition, health-care workers and people in close proximity to high-risk individuals.

For the swine flu vaccine, federal officials have added young adults aged 19 to 24, who have been disproportionately affected by the swine flu, and have lowered older adults down the list (unless they have an underlying medical condition) because they've shown more resistance to the infection. In all, swine flu vaccine priority groups comprise about 160 million people.

"In the seasonal flu, the priority is the elderly but they're at the bottom of the ladder for H1N1, so that's a change the public will have a problem with," said Dr. Len Horovitz, a pulmonary specialist with Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City. "People seem to have some partial immunity to the swine flu if they are born before 1957."

This doesn't mean that older people shouldn't get the swine flu shot, just that they won't be first in line, Hay said.

Hopefully, 45 million doses of the swine flu vaccine will be available by mid- to late October, enough to vaccinate about 22 million people if they each get two doses.

Thereafter, federal officials are estimating another 20 million doses will be shipped each week after that.

"At least for the first wave, we're probably only going to vaccinate prioritized people and then everybody else," Hay said.

Of course, how all this plays out depends on how many people actually take advantage of the available vaccine. "Pregnant women are very high on the list because they've had a lot of complications from the swine flu this year, but, based on historical records, only half will get vaccinated," Hay said.

More information

To learn more about flu, visit the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

SOURCES: Christine Mhorag Hay, M.D., assistant professor, medicine, University of Rochester Medical Center, Rochester, N.Y.; Sharon A. Wilkerson, Ph.D., R.N., dean and professor, Texas A&M Health Science Center College of Nursing, College Station, Texas; Gordon Dickinson, M.D., chief, infectious diseases, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine; Len Horovitz, M.D, pulmonary specialist, Lenox Hill Hospital, New York City

Copyright©2009 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved

Related medicine news :

1. CVS Caremark to Provide $3 Million in Free Flu Shots to the Unemployed
2. Flu Shots Now Available for 2009 Seasonal Influenza at MD Now Urgent Care Centers in Palm Beach County, Florida.
3. Kristi Yamaguchi, Olympic Ice Skater, Pushes Seasonal Flu Shots
4. Patch Shots May Someday Replace Injections
5. Allergists Urge Asthmatics to Get Swine and Seasonal Flu Shots Following CDC Vaccine Advisory Committee Recommendations
6. Fewer Shots Could Still Protect Kids From Pneumonia
7. New Snapshots Show States Vary Widely in Providing Quality Health Care
8. Many Adults With Asthma Are Skipping Flu Shots
9. Adults with asthma not getting their flu shots
10. Refusing Shots Puts Kids at Higher Risk for Whooping Cough
11. Hospitalization Rates Higher in Kids Who Get Flu Shots
Post Your Comments:
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... November 25, 2015 , ... For the first time, Vitalalert ... Organizations, One Beat ” campaign. The partnership between the two groups began in 2014 ... MAP International’s cause. , MAP International was founded in 1954 and is an international ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... ... On November 25, 2015, officials of Narconon Arrowhead , the drug rehabilitation ... new cutting edge recovery program that has been 50 years in the making. ... with the purpose to free addicts from the symptoms and negative behaviors of addiction. ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... ... Smiles by Stevens is pleased to announce the addition of Botox® for ... aware of the benefits of Botox® in the treatment of moderate facial wrinkling, few ... and pain as a result of Jaw Tension, TMJ (temporo-mandibular joint) disorder, and Bruxism ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... November 25, 2015 , ... In an ongoing Clinical Study conducted by an ... IL, UV Angel is evaluating the efficacy of its product and its disinfection protocol. ... 30 beds) from May 2014 through October 2015 at a 360-bed, acute-care, academic medical ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... Spring, Md (PRWEB) , ... November 25, 2015 ... ... Pulmonary Hypertension Association (PHA) announces the nation’s Periwinkle Pioneers, individuals and groups responsible ... history of this disease. The Periwinkle Pioneers, nominated by the public, will receive ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/25/2015)... 2015 Kitov Pharma ceuticals ... a biopharmaceutical company focused on the development of therapeutic ... today announced the closing of its previously announced underwritten ... ), each representing 20 ordinary shares of the Company, ... ADSs and warrants were issued in a fixed combination ...
(Date:11/25/2015)...  Today AVACEN Medical announced the issue of United States patent No. ... ". This patent shields the company,s AVACEN 100 dry heat therapy medical device and specific methods ... Photo - ... ... ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... , Nov. 25, 2015 USP 800 ... drug preparations (e.g. pharmacists, pharmacy technicians, nurses, physicians, ... technicians). The chapter also covers all entities which ... pharmacies, hospitals, other healthcare institutions, patient treatment clinics, ... --> --> What is ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: