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!
Follow me on: