H1N1 vaccine expected this week - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

H1N1 vaccine expected this week

By  Stephanie Springer  - bio | email

ALBANY, GA (WALB) - The first doses of the H1N1 vaccine are expected to arrive in our area sometime this week. But this vaccine isn't for everyone.

"The nasal flu vaccine is for people between the ages of 2 and 49 it is for generally healthy people. Those people with underlying health conditions or people who are pregnant need to wait for the injectable H1N1 vaccine because it is not a live virus," said Dr. Jacqueline Grant, public health director.

The nasal flu vaccine is a weakened live virus so people with compromised immune systems and pregnant women should not get this form of the vaccine.

"The reason you want to take the injectable form is that is a killed virus that isn't a live virus with a live virus there is a greater risk of developing an outbreak, said Dr. John Inman.

But pregnant women are a target group for the injectable version of the vaccine, and should get the shot when it becomes available.

"Because pregnant woman have the potential to have more complications due to flu, seasonal flu or H1N1 it is recommended that pregnant women get the seasonal vaccine. The seasonal vaccine can be given at any trimester and so can the H1N1 vaccine," said Dr. Grant.

Getting vaccinated can also help protect your new baby from getting sick.

"Immunizations is shown to provide coverage for newborns up to at least 6 months. A baby up to 6 months is at extreme risk of having complications and dying from flu," said Dr. Grant.

Doctors say the benefits of vaccines outweigh the risks. Dealing with pneumonia and pre term labor are serious complications and could result in death.

If you are pregnant and you suspect you already have the flu or have come in close contact with someone who has the flu you need to contact your health care provider right away for guidance.

This week's nasal spray shipment will be limited and only subsets of priority groups will get the vaccine.

This form of vaccine must not be taken by people who are sensitive to eggs or egg proteins, have had serious reactions to flu vaccines, children who take aspirin or kids under two years of age.

People who may only be able to get this vaccine under certain situations are those who are pregnant... have asthma or active wheezing... children under five who have recurrent wheezing... anyone with a history of Guillain-Barré syndrome... people with weakened immune systems... and those with long-term medical conditions including heart disease, kidney disease, and diabetes.

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