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Swine Flu Virus Not Mutating, Making Vaccine a Good Match
Date:9/25/2009

e if you are sick.

The vaccine for the H1N1 flu will be available in large quantities by late October, Frieden said. Some vaccine, in the form of a nasal spray (FluMist), will be available the first week of October.

But FluMist is not for everyone. It's not recommended for children younger than 2 years; for people with chronic medical conditions such as heart disease, kidney disease and diabetes; for pregnant women; or for people older than 49. Children and pregnant women are among those at greatest risk for complications from the H1N1 flu, according to the CDC.

For people 10 and older, only a single dose of the H1N1 vaccine will be needed, Frieden said, adding that "there is every reason to believe that this vaccine will be safe."

He said it's important that people with underlying medical conditions -- such as diabetes, heart disease and respiratory problems -- get vaccinated. Other priority groups include pregnant women, health-care workers and people who care for infants and children.

To get children vaccinated, there will be school vaccine clinics, "something we don't usually do in a normal flu season," he said.

Frieden also urged people to get a flu shot for regular seasonal flu now. Supplies are plentiful.

Antiviral medications such as Tamiflu should be used carefully, Frieden said. "People who need to be treated are people who have underlying conditions or are severely ill," he said. "It should not be used for prevention, and it should not be used for most mild, average cases. That way, people who really need it will have enough to go around, and we won't have an increased risk of resistance."

Despite health officials' recommendations that Americans get vaccinated against the H1N1 swine flu, only 40 percent of parents plan to have their children vaccinated, even though the flu has become more active now that kids are back in school, a new survey found.

Among the pa
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