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The flu vaccine is the best protection against the flu. This year, 2 vaccines are needed for full protection: the seasonal flu vaccine and the H1N1 flu vaccine. Individuals are encouraged to get both vaccines.
To find where seasonal or H1N1 vaccine is available, go to 2-1-1 Flu Clinic Locator or call 2-1-1.
Seasonal Flu Vaccine
The City of Milwaukee Health Department recommends that all persons wishing to avoid becoming sick from flu this season receive a vaccination.
There are two options for vaccination this season: Live Attenuated Influenza Vaccine [LAIV], the nasal-spray flu vaccine (Flumist) is approved for use only in healthy people 2-49 years of age who are not pregnant and Trivalent Inactivated Virus (TIV) vaccine, the traditional flu shot.
H1N1 Flu Vaccine
The CDC recommends that certain priority groups be the first to receive H1N1 vaccine (from www.flu.gov).
- Pregnant women because they are at higher risk of complications and can potentially provide protection to infants who cannot be vaccinated.
- Household contacts and caregivers for children younger than 6 months of age because younger infants are at higher risk of influenza-related complications and cannot be vaccinated. Vaccination of those in close contact with infants less than 6 months old might help protect infants by “cocooning” them from the virus.
- Healthcare and emergency medical services personnel because infections among healthcare workers have been reported and this can be a potential source of infection for vulnerable patients. Also, increased absenteeism among healthcare professionals could reduce healthcare system capacity.
- All people from 6 months through 24 years of age
Children from 6 months through 18 years of age because there have been many cases of H1N1 flu in children and they are in close contact with each other in school and day care settings, which increases the likelihood of disease spread.
Young adults 19 through 24 years of age because there have been many cases of H1N1 flu in these healthy young adults and they often live, work, and study in close proximity, and they are a frequently mobile population.
- Persons aged 25 through 64 years who have health conditions associated with higher risk of medical complications from influenza.
The 2009 H1N1 influenza vaccine is expected to have a similar safety profile as seasonal flu vaccines, which have a very good safety track record. Over the years, hundreds of millions of Americans have received seasonal flu vaccines.
CDC expects that any side effects following vaccination with the 2009 H1N1 influenza vaccine would be rare. If side effects occur, they will likely be similar to those experienced following seasonal influenza vaccine. Mild problems that may be experienced include soreness, redness, or swelling where the shot was given, fainting (mainly adolescents), headache, muscle aches, fever, and nausea. If these problems occur, they usually begin soon after the shot and last 1-2 days. Life-threatening allergic reactions to vaccines are very rare. If they do occur, it is usually within a few minutes to a few hours after the shot is given. If any unusual condition occurs following vaccination, seek medical attention right away.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will be closely monitoring for any signs that the vaccine is causing unexpected adverse events and we will work with state and local health officials to investigate any unusual events.
Information about Mercury/Thimerosal in Flu Vaccines
Click here for answers to questions about Mercury/Thimerosal in vaccines.
In response to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (JS) Article about Thimerosal (Mercury) in vaccines, the following letters were issued. (Click on links below to read letters. Click here for the JS article.)