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2009 H1N1 Vaccine: Inactivated Swine Flu Shot (cont.)

The 2009 H1N1 influenza vaccine

Vaccines are available to protect against 2009 H1N1 influenza.

  • These vaccines are made just like seasonal flu vaccines.
  • They are expected to be as safe and effective as seasonal flu vaccines.
  • They will not prevent “influenza-like” illnesses caused by other viruses.
  • They will not prevent seasonal flu. You should also get seasonal influenza vaccine, if you want to be protected against seasonal flu.
Inactivated vaccine (vaccine that has killed virus in it) is injected into the muscle, like the annual flu shot. This page describes the inactivated vaccine. A live, intranasal vaccine (the nasal spray vaccine) is also available.

Some inactivated 2009 H1N1 vaccine contains a preservative called thimerosal to keep it free from germs. Some people have suggested that thimerosal might be related to autism. In 2004 a group of experts at the Institute of Medicine reviewed many studies looking into this theory, and found no association between thimerosal and autism. Additional studies since then reached the same conclusion.

Who should get 2009 H1N1 influenza vaccine and when?

WHO
Groups recommended to receive 2009 H1N1 vaccine first are:

  • Pregnant women
  • People who live with or care for infants younger than 6 months of age
  • Health care and emergency medical personnel
  • Anyone from 6 months through 24 years of age
  • Anyone from 25 through 64 years of age with certain chronic medical conditions or a weakened immune system
As more vaccine becomes available, these groups should also be vaccinated:
  • Healthy 25 through 64 year olds
  • Adults 65 years and older
The Federal government is providing this vaccine for receipt on a voluntary basis. However, state law or employers may require vaccination for certain persons.

WHEN
Get vaccinated as soon as the vaccine is available.
Children through 9 years of age should get two doses of vaccine, about a month apart. Older children and adults need only one dose.



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