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Swine Flu Cases Rise; CDC Urges Vaccination

Vaccines for Swine Flu, Seasonal Flu Can Be Given Together, Experts Say
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Results of H1N1 Trials

Vaccines against both H1N1 and seasonal influenza can be given simultaneously, said Fauci. "We embarked on a study in August with 800 people," he said. The question: if you gave both vaccines at once, would there be any interference with immunity?

Based on early results from 50 of those participants, he said, simultaneous administration of both shots does not impact the immune response of either vaccine. However, Schuchat said that the CDC does not recommend getting two nasal vaccines at the same time, as there may be competition.

Under way now are studies of the H1N1 vaccine in those with asthma, pregnant women, and those who are HIV positive, he said.

View from the Community

Of the H1N1 vaccine, ''I would say there is moderate concern about the safety of it," says Wally Ghurabi, DO, chief of emergency services at Santa Monica-UCLA and Orthopaedic Hospital in California and a member of the H1N1 Steering Committee for the University of California Los Angeles.

He hears about patients going on the Internet, hearing rumors and reports that may not be true. ''Someone always brings up Guillain-Barre," he says.

Guillain-Barre syndrome, a neurological condition, was linked with the previous swine flu vaccine, manufactured in 1976. But the link was not clear, and experts point out that vaccine production has improved greatly since then, as has testing for contaminants, which may have explained the link.

Ghurabi's advice is to weigh the pros and cons, taking your risk into account. "If you are caring for a two-month old baby or are pregnant, you are in a high risk group," for instance.

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