What you need to know about the H1N1 vaccine
Posted: 12-22-2009 11:34AM
Who should get H1N1 vaccine first?
Though H1N1 vaccine is beginning to be available to everyone who wants it, vaccinating people in high risk groups is still the first priority. You are in a priority group for H1N1 vaccine if you are:
- Age 6 months through 24 years, whether or not you have a medical condition
- Age 25 years through 64 years, if you have a chronic medical condition that would put you at risk for complications
- Working as a health care provider or as emergency medical services personnel
- Living with or caring for children under 6 months of age
Now that H1N1 flu vaccine is becoming more available, lower risk people can get vaccinated including:
- Ages 25 to 64, without a medical condition
- People over age 65
Chronic medical conditions that put you at risk for complications of flu (H1N1 or seasonal)
People who have these conditions should be vaccinated for both seasonal and H1N1 flu:
- Asthma or lung disease
- Heart disease (but not high blood pressure)
- Kidney or liver disease
- Metabolic disease, like diabetes
- Anemia and other blood disorders
- Muscle or nerve disorders, such as seizure disorders or cerebral palsy, that can lead to breathing or swallowing problems
- Weakened immune system due to HIV/AIDS or other diseases, long-term treatment with drugs such as steroids, cancer treatment with x-rays or drugs
- Anyone 6 months through 18 years of age on long-term aspirin treatment (they could develop Reye Syndrome if they got the flu)
Both H1N1 and seasonal flu vaccines come in two forms — a shot and a nasal spray. The H1N1 vaccine and the seasonal flu vaccine can be given together, unless both are being given as a nasal spray. If both are being given as a nasal spray they should be spaced apart by about four weeks.
You can get the nasal spray flu vaccine, both H1N1 and seasonal flu, if you are healthy, not pregnant, and between 2 and 49 years old. For a self-screening checklist, see www.health.state.mn.us/divs/idepc/diseases/flu/hcp/vaccine/screenflumist.html.
Young children need two doses of flu vaccine
Young children need two doses of both H1N1 and seasonal flu vaccines for best results.
- For seasonal flu, children under 9 years old should receive two doses.
- For H1N1 vaccine, children under 10 years old should receive two doses.
The two vaccine doses should be spaced apart by about four weeks. The H1N1 vaccine and the seasonal flu vaccine can be given together, unless both are being given as a nasal spray.
How do I find H1N1 flu vaccine?
H1N1 VACCINE WALK-IN CLINICS
United Hospital District is currently offering the H1N1 vaccine for all people, as determined by the Centers for Disease Control and the Minnesota Department of Health:
Walk-in Clinics held: 9 a.m. - 4 p.m., Monday – Friday
United Hospital District
515 S. Moore Street, Blue Earth
Eligible persons check-in at Patient Registration
Free • No appointment necessary
Is it already too late to be vaccinated?
No. There is still plenty of time to get vaccinated for H1N1 and seasonal flu.
- There may be another wave of H1N1 disease this winter, so it is a good idea to be vaccinated for H1N1.
- You can catch seasonal flu any time between about October and May, so it is a good idea to be vaccinated any time during that period.
For more information:
United Hospital District
515 S. Moore Street
Blue Earth, MN
Minnesota Department of Health
Centers for Disease Control
24 hours/every day
www.cdc.gov/flu Attention: Non-MDH link