A safe and effective H1N1 swine flu vaccine was created and produced in record time -- but it still wasn't ready when the U.S. pandemic peaked in early fall of 2009. Even so, by mid-December 2009, 28 million adults (13% of U.S. adults) and 18 million children (24% of U.S. children) had received the vaccine.
When seasonal flu vaccination begins for the 2010-2011 flu season, the regular flu vaccine will contain the 2009 H1N1 swine flu vaccine (as well as vaccines against the older H3N2 type A and type B flu bugs).
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But the 2009 H1N1 flu bug is still here, popping up sporadically across the country. Moreover, there's no guarantee it will wait until winter to start spreading again. If it starts early in 2010 -- as it did in 2009 -- it will get here before the seasonal vaccine is ready.
Fortunately, there's still plenty of vaccine out there. Everyone, but particularly those at risk of serious flu complications (see below), should get the vaccine. And except for some places that charge a small administrative fee, it's still free.
While everybody hasn't been vaccinated, everybody has questions: