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H1N1 Swine Flu Vaccine FAQ

WebMD provides a practical guide to the H1N1 swine flu vaccine.
By
WebMD Feature
Reviewed by Louise Chang, MD

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).

Swine Flu Outbreak: Get the Facts

Swine Flu Slideshow

Learn more about the H1N1 swine flu and see what you can do to stay healthy.

View the slideshow.

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:

The answers are here:

When can I get an H1N1 swine flu vaccination?

Swine Swine flu vaccine remains available at many sites. The easiest way to find one is to type your ZIP code into the CDC's H1N1 vaccine locator, easily found in the CDC's H1N1 flu web site.

You can also check with your local health department to find vaccination locations in your area. And your doctor likely knows where to find vaccine in your area.

Is the H1N1 swine flu vaccine safe?

The The H1N1 swine flu vaccine, both the shots and the nasal spray, are made the same way as the seasonal flu vaccine.

Every year or so, the seasonal vaccine -- which includes a component based on the seasonal H1N1 virus -- is tweaked to match a flu virus that has changed its genetic makeup. The same kind of tweaking resulted in the H1N1 swine flu vaccine.

That's why the FDA approved it: They considered it just a strain change, and not a brand new vaccine.

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