Pair of Flu Vaccines will be Available

Two separate flu vaccinations will be available to Cordovans this fall…vaccinations for the seasonal flu, as well as vaccinations for the H1N1 flu. Each fall we see our Public Health Nurse, Susanna Marquette, offering clinics and diligently meeting the public to give them that option. Is it really that important? Who should consider getting the vaccinations?

It may be that you should. In fact, this may be the year to get both vaccinations. At the present time the severity of the H1N1 flu is lower than was originally feared. But as that flu strain develops and “mutates”, it can become more virulent (deadly). One of the ways that we can prevent that from happening is to avoid letting the DNA’s of the two strains of flu mix. We can accomplish that by making all efforts to avoid getting either illness. If we get the seasonal flu…and follow it up with the H1N1 flu, we mix the DNA’s…and we don’t want to do that. The result could be a more deadly H1N1.

Each flu has specific groups of people that have the highest risk of contracting the disease, and it is those groups who should get the vaccines first. Each vaccine has specific ways it will be administered. And each vaccine will arrive at different times.

Seasonal flu most severely affects the young and the old….children 6 months to 18 years, as well as people over 50. Therefore, those are the targeted first priority groups. The vaccine comes in two forms, a live nasal mist and an inactivated injection. It is currently available privately and will soon be distributed through the state…and, in Cordova, through our Public Health Nurse and Ilanka Clinic.

The H1N1 flu vaccine is expected to arrive much later this fall, possibly in October. The five high priority targeted groups, to receive the first of that vaccine, are: pregnant women, caregivers of children under 6 months, health care providers, people between 6 months and 24 years, and finally, people between 25 and 64 who are at a higher risk for novel H1N1 because of chronic health disorders or compromised immune systems. It is important to note that the H1N1 flu vaccine will probably be administered in two phases, possibly 21-28 days apart. It is also important to note that anyone with severe allergies to eggs is advised to contact a healthcare provider before getting any vaccine.

Find the answers to any further questions by checking out or calling your local healthcare provider.

As always. Be prudent. Be ready. Be prepared.