Monday, September 21, 2009

Inhalable H1N1 vaccine: are you ready to inhale?

Are you ready for the H1N1 vaccine? The CDC is reporting that over 3 million doses of the inhalable (no needles!) vaccine will be available in early October. Here's a snippet from a recent CNN article:
"3.4 million doses of vaccines will be available," said Dr. Jay Butler, who heads the 2009 H1N1 Vaccine Task Force at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
So, if you hate needles, you can still get vaccinated. However, the inhalable vaccine is not indicated for pregnant women (sorry, you'll need to get the needle version). Someday, we'll see painless needles everywhere. Imagine needles so small that you don't even feel them. They already exist, but they're not commonly used (yet).

As you consider swine flu vaccination, consider a few things:
  • You may not need to protect yourself, but you may need to protect others who are vulnerable. If you spend any time around young children, elderly, or immune compromised individuals, then you're a risk to them if you don't get vaccinated.
  • Young and healthy people have been dying from H1N1. 
  • Follow your doctor's advice. I realize that many people don't like the idea of vaccines, but this fall/winter is going to be very different because of the H1N1 pandemic. 
Sanofi Pasteur, Novartis and CSL Limited all have FDA-approved flu shots, and MedImmune makes the inhalable vaccine. GlaxoSmithkline is waiting for FDA approval on its flu shot.

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