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It's Not Too Late to Get Vaccinated for the H1N1 Virus


For months we watched TV and read the news about the H1N1 virus. People panicked and there was a shortage of the supply of flu shots. The lines were long and in some area’s, the shots were no where to be found.

Today, there are plenty shots and many of them for free. In fact, now is a good time to get them because experts claim H1N1 flu may not be over. "It's not too late to get vaccinated," said Dr. Jane Zucker, Assistant Commissioner of the city Health Department's Bureau of Immunization. We want people to be protected in advance of this, in case there is a third wave, and especially those people who are at higher risk for complications."

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People tend to get their shots from around September through November. The demand for these shots begins to slow down around now however; the flu usually peaks around this time of year. "It's still not over," Dr. Balakrishnan said of the possibility of another round of swine flu illness. "They should still come."

"H1N1 influenza is still circulating, it is just very low right now," Marion County Health Officer Dr. Karen Landers said. Even though it appears to go away, the history of pandemics shows it comes in waves," Thomas said.

The swine flu vaccine is recommended for pregnant women, all health care and emergency medical workers, anyone between 6 months and 24 years old, anyone ages 25 through 64 with a health condition that may compromise the immune system, and anyone who lives with or cares for infants younger than 6 months.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention remind those who are unsure whether they should be immunized that influenza is an unpredictable disease. Though flu activity is currently very low, it is possible that other waves of H1N1 influenza may occur. Now that there is a sufficient supply of vaccine there is a "window of opportunity" in which people can be vaccinated against the flu before any possible new wave of the disease.