As the first wave of swine flu vaccine crosses the country, more than a third of parents don’t want their kids vaccinated, according to an Associated Press poll. Some parents say they are concerned about side effects from the new vaccine – even though nothing serious has turned up in tests so far – while others say swine flu doesn’t amount to any greater health threat than seasonal flu.
The New York Times was able to answer a few questions about availability of the vaccine, which health professionals began distributing to the general public on Monday. A pediatric nurse in Memphis, a mom of two small children who also cares for babies, was the first person to get the swine flu vaccine.
Where will the vaccinations be done?
Each state will be different. Many will offer them to schoolchildren first, then to the public at schools, public health centers or other locations. Some will direct vaccine to pharmacy chains, doctors, employers and elsewhere. As more vaccine arrives, health departments are expected to post Web pages allowing a user to type in a ZIP code and find the nearest place offering vaccine. The flu.gov website will have links to those pages.
How many doses are necessary?
Only children under 9 will need two doses. If they have had previous flu shots, their pediatricians may decide only one is needed.
Can I get both the regular flu and swine flu vaccinations at the same time?
Yes, if they are given by needle. You should not get both the nasal spray forms at the same time.