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Public Uncertain About Swine Flu Vaccine

Flu season is right around the corner. Add to that concerns about swine flu, and you’ve got a lot of people with questions about flu shots. In fact, a new Consumer Reports survey finds many Americans are on the fence about getting the swine flu vaccine. But local health officials have some answers to clear up the confusion.

A patient is immunized with the H1N1 Vaccine by a nurse during the launch of the National pandemic (swine flu) influenza vaccination campaign September 30, 2009 in Perth, Australia.
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Above: A patient is immunized with the H1N1 Vaccine by a nurse during the launch of the National pandemic (swine flu) influenza vaccination campaign September 30, 2009 in Perth, Australia.

Dr. Orly Avitzur with Consumer Reports says people are concerned about getting swine flu, but they’re not certain about getting the shot.

“Forty-three percent of American adults say they’re unsure about getting the swine flu vaccine and just 30 percent say they plan on getting it when it comes available,” says Avotzur.

The survey found many adults would rather build their natural immunity to the virus than get a vaccine. The adults surveyed also said they believe hand washing is an important tool for avoiding the bug – and that’s a good thing, according to Sacramento County Public Health Officer, Dr Glennah Trochet.

Not so good, according to Trochet, is the fact that half of parents surveyed are still unsure if they’ll vaccinate their children. “HINI even if it behaves just like seasonal flu, your children are still at risk,” says Trochet.

Trochet says another big question for many people is whether to get a seasonal flu shot and the H1N1 specific flu shot. She says the answer is simple – get them both because they’re different viruses.

“The H1N1 virus is going to be circulating this season like regular flu so this year, yes, we’re recommending two vaccines instead of the one that we recommend every year,” says Trochet.

Trochet says California counties are scheduled to get an adequate supply of shots to meet the demand. She says the H1N1 flu clinics will likely begin in late November. High priority groups for the swine flu vaccines are infants, pregnant women, health care workers, children, young adults and people with chronic illnesses.

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