The Seasonal Flu Vaccine is Available Now


While we wait for the H1N1 vaccine, the expat clinics have received the annual seasonal flu vaccine that you can now receive. The seasonal flu vaccine, as always, is recommended for children 6 months-18 years, people older than 65, those with chronic health conditions and pregnant women. Other healthy persons, especially parents, caregivers and health care workers, also may benefit. Children 6 months-59 months are the most vulnerable group; they should get the flu vaccine annually.

What about the H1N1 vaccine? That will be out later this year, but officially the CDC recommends that all family members get the H1N1 vaccine. So yes, that means that this year you and your family should get two vaccinations, both now for seasonal flu and later for H1N1 when available.

And the sooner the better! You don’t want to wait until a few months from now, when potentially there may be chaos and shortages in the clinics from a huge outbreak of both H1N1 and the seasonal flu.

Most clinics, including mine, sell the vaccine very reasonably, without a doctor’s fee. Call your clinics ahead of time to be sure of availability.

No matter what you decide, don’t forget the basics of avoiding infection:

  • Handwash, handwash, handwash! I prefer the Purell-type alcohol gels and always carry one in my bag
  • Cover your mouth when coughing or sneezing, not with your hands with with your forearm or elbow
  • If you’re sick, avoid others! If someone is sick, avoid them!

For more information on seasonal flu, you can follow the official CDC Flu website. If you want to read about the pandemic H1N1 flu, you can start with my slideshow about H1N1 flu.

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7 thoughts on “The Seasonal Flu Vaccine is Available Now”

  1. Here's an email I got from Mary Peng, from the International Center for Veterinary Services, regarding rabies:

    "…I just read your update on vaccinations for China and would like to provide some additional information as a member of the health care industry that works directly with the animals in our community.

    The safest and surest way to protect our family members is to ensure that your pets are legally and properly vaccinated at an officially designated animal rabies vaccination hospital. Only these legally designated animal hospitals may purchase imported animal rabies vaccines and are allowed to administer them. ICVS is a legally designated animal vaccination hospital and is extremely experienced in serving all members of the local and international communities and in providing information and education on rabies awareness and prevention.

    All dogs and cats should be vaccinated for rabies annually by law in the PRC. Unfortunately, compliance rates are low – less than 10% across China for dogs and even lower for cats. This contributes to the increase in annual rabies infections we see every year in China with more than 96% of human infections transmitted by dogs either through bites or through licks on broken skin or on mucous membranes.

    It is strongly recommended that all residents and travelers be pre-exposure vaccinated against rabies (3 injections). This is best decided together with the family and their medical care provider especially where children are concerned. Please inform parents to keep in mind that children are most likely to engage in provocative behaviors with animals and most unlikely to truthfully inform parents of such behaviors, even when it results in nips or bites…"

    International Center for Veterinary Services
    No. 29 Liang Ma Qiao Road, An Jia Lou
    Chaoyang District, Beijing, China 100125
    Tel: 8610-8456-1939/1940/1941
    Fax: 8610-6433-2301
    E-mail: [email protected]
    web site:

  2. Please, tell us how much the vaccine cost? It is supposed to be cheap and accessible to everybody since it is a very dangerous flu that can be very contagious….in certain countries it is free.

  3. hi ,my son is 7months old and weighs 11kilos ,is it safe for him to get the adult seasonal flu shot in two injections?it does`nt seems reasonable to myself as a layman,when an average adult can weigh 50-100kg gets a full shot and a baby gets the same shot in two injections??

    1. Yes, in America it is indicated for infants after 6 months of age. They are the most vulnerable to complications of the flu, so I think it’s a good idea. Infants don’t have a well developed immune system yet so they need that extra dose…

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