H1N1 (Swine) Flu Vaccine - Updated 10/26/09
The vaccine was produced for the prevention of the H1N1 flu. There are concerns that the H1N1 flu will result in a more severe flu season this year. Vaccination is our most effective way to prevent the flu. The seasonal (regular) flu vaccine does not prevent H1N1 flu. If you already received the seasonal flu vaccine earlier this season, you will still need the H1N1 vaccine.
The H1N1 flu vaccine is not an experimental vaccine. The same methods and facilities used to make the seasonal flu vaccine were used in the manufacturing this vaccine. It has been shown to be effective and safe. Just as with any vaccine, the Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System (VAERS) will be used to monitor for adverse events following H1N1 vaccination. Additional information about the vaccine can be found at www.cdc.gov/h1n1flu/vaccination/public/vaccination_qa_pub.htm.
Specific surveillance for the Guillain-Barre Syndrome (GBS) will be carried out because in 1976, there was a small risk of developing GBS following swine flu vaccination. However, the increase risk was 1 additional case per 100,000 over the baseline 1 to 2 cases per 100,000 seen in the United States (an estimated 3,000 to 6,000 cases) each year. Additional information about GBS and the H1N1 vaccine can be found at www.cdc.gov/h1n1flu/vaccination/gbs_qa.htm.
The CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP), a panel made up of medical and public health experts identified the following groups to receive the vaccine:
- Pregnant women
- Close household contacts for children under 6 months of age
- Individuals aged 6 months through 24 years
In addition to our office offering flu vaccinations when they become available, there are some public health vaccination clinics being held. Public health vaccination clinic locations will be posted at http://flu.masspro.org/clinic/ as they are scheduled.