The above is a picture of chicken eggs that are being used to create (replicate, really) the 2009 H1N1 virus for use in H1N1 flu vaccines in China (same process used in the U.S. and every other country).
Beginning next week, H1N1 flu vaccine will be shipped to every U.S. state, where it will be available to you at your doctor’s office or local drug store or supermarket pharmacy. Is becoming sick with the H1N1 flu something to panic about? No. Is getting a vaccine to lower your chances of getting it a good idea? Yes, especially if you are:
- Pregnant (higher risk of complications to you and baby)
- 6 months – 24 yrs of age (higher risk of complications and many opportunities for close contact with others)
- The mother or father (or caregiver) of a child younger than 6 months old (higher risk of complications and they cannot be vaccinated)
- A healthcare provider (source of infection for vulnerable patients)
The first immunizations available (next week and following weeks) against H1N1 in the U.S. will be the nasal-spray version (not for those of you who are pregnant). Soon after that injections will be available. The biggest difference between the spray and the injection (besides the obvious difference between a needle and a spray) is that the spray gives you a live weakened flu virus while the injection gives you a dead flu virus. Both are safe and effective, although you may experience some mild cold-like symptoms with the spray, as my daughter did (since it is a live virus).
The flu is coming very soon to a location near you. My family has already received our flu immunizations and we will also be in line for the H1N1 flu shots.