With the arrival of swine flu this year, healthcare workers are expecting a particularly harsh 2009 flu season. Health officials are urging the American public to begin preparing for the upcoming flu season by getting seasonal flu vaccines at the nearest health clinic, drugstore or flu shot center.
Though the standard flu shots do not protect against swine flu, or novel H1N1, they can help protect patients against other types of seasonal influenza. A recently developed swine flu vaccine will be made available to the public as soon as supplies are prepared.
Here are a few updates on this year’s supply of flu vaccine and the highly anticipated swine flu vaccine:
- The Center for Disease Control (CDC) is recommending that people get their flu vaccines ahead of schedule this year, to ensure early inoculation.
- National drugstore chains CVS and Walgreens began offering flu shots on Sept. 1, 2009.As an added bonus, those who are without a job or insurance may qualify for free flu shots, while supplies last.
- It will likely be several more weeks before the swine flu vaccine is available to the general population.
- The New York City school system intends to offer free swine flu vaccines to students as soon as possible.
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