FAQs about the H1N1 swine flu vaccine

FAQs about the H1N1 swine flu vaccine

Lane County will receive 3,500 doses of flu mist the week of Oct. 5. It will not be available for children or pregnant women. However children and pregnant women can get the swine flu shot, that will arrive the following week.

When will the injectible flu vaccine arrive?
It will begin arriving the week of Oct. 12. It will come in shipments every week. Lane County does not know how much it will get in each shipment yet.

Who can get the swine flu vaccine?
The H1N1 vaccine will be availabe to anyone in the high risk population.  The high risk populations include pregnant women, people caring for or living with babies younger than six months, health care workers, anyone age six month to 24, and people age 25 to 64 with chronic health problems.

Why aren't people over the age of 64 considered high risk?
Current studies indicate the risk for infection among persons age 65 or older is less than the risk for younger age groups. That may be because they were exposed to a form of swine flu in 1976.

If I was  vaccinated against the 1976 swine flu do I need to get vaccinated against the 2009 H1N1 influenza?
The 1976 swine flu virus and the H1N1 virus are different enough that its unlikely a person vaccinated in 1976 will have full protection from the 2009 H1N1. People vaccinated in 1976 should still be given the 2009 H1N1 vaccine.

Who will give the swine flu shots?
Lane County has signed up 90 'community partners' to give swine flu shots. They include hospital, doctors, pediatricians, school health centers, pharmacies and stores. They are in both rural and urban areas across the county. Lane County will also hold flu clinics, but they have not schedule those yet.

How much will the shots cost?
The federal government is distributing the H1N1 vaccine for free. But each provider may add on an adminstrative fee.
Lane County is still deciding whether to charge anything. If they do charge they are not expected to charge more than about $15. Lane County will not turn away anyone who can not afford a shot.They have also recruited about 70 nurses who will volunteer to give shots.

Will the seasonal flu vaccine also protect against the 2009 H1N1 flu?
The seasonal flu vaccine is not expected to protect against the 2009 H1N1 flu.

Is there a shortage of swine flu vaccine?
The Centers for Disease Control does not expect a shortage, however it is expected to take time to get everyone vaccinated. That is why they are asking people in the high risk populations to get shots first. There is some possibility that initially the vaccine will be available in limited quantities. In this setting, the committee recommended that the following groups receive the vaccine before others: pregnant women, people who live with or care for children younger than 6 months of age, health care and emergency medical services personnel with direct patient contact, children 6 months through 4 years of age, and children 5 through 18 years of age who have chronic medical conditions.

Is the Swine Flu vaccine safe?
The Centers for Disease control says they expect this vaccine to have a similar safety profile as season flu vaccine, which have a very good safety track record. Here is what the CDC says about Swine Flu Safety: "Over the years, hundreds of millions of Americans have received seasonal flu vaccines. The most common side effects following flu vaccinations are mild, such as soreness, redness, tenderness or swelling where the shot was given. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will be closely monitoring for any signs that the vaccine is causing unexpected adverse events and we will work with state and local health officials to investigate any unusual events."

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KVAL News met with health officials from Lane County to get answers to your questions about the vaccine for H1N1 swine flu. Here are some frequently asked questions and answers about the vaccine.

When will the first shipment of swine flu vaccine arrive?