Flu shot a combo of H1N1 shot and normal, yearly shot

Last year, the flu season was on everyone's mind because of the H1N1 pandemic.

By last summer, H1N1 was only mentioned with the vast amount of H1N1 vaccine that was sent back to labs because it was no longer needed.

The H1N1 vaccine will still be distributed this year, but it will be a part of this year's regular flu shot.

"You only need one shot since it contains the H1N1 vaccine as well," said Sanford Wellness nurse Amanda Anderson. "The CDC (Center of Disease Control) anticipates seeing H1N1 pop up here and there, but the air around it is more relaxed and there is less media hype."

But if one good thing came out of last year's H1N1 pandemic, it's that people are more willing to get vaccinated this year, according to Anderson.

Sanford Vermillion put on three flu clinics in the past couple of weeks, and Anderson said many people came to get the vaccine.

"The turnout has been pretty good, and after last year, people are taking advantage," she said. "We had over 400 people at our first clinic, and that's a little over from last year. It's been pretty steady."

The last clinic took place this past Tuesday at the Vermillion High School. At the moment, no other clinics are planned, but people can still set up an appointment with their doctors.

"We will do another one if we determine a need for one, or if many people ask for another one," Anderson said.

Sanford recommends everyone from six months and older get their yearly flu shot.

"The virus is different every year, so it's good to get it yearly," Anderson said. "We have seen the first flu sometimes in September and it can go to May, and the one shot covers the whole flu season."

Anderson added that there is no prediction of a vaccine shortage, and there are no tiers for this year's vaccine, so it will be available to everyone.

Sanford Vermillion's second clinic was held in the Muenster University Center for University of South Dakota students. Anderson said the turnout was good for it and it's important for college students to get vaccinated.

"They are living in closer quarters, so that puts them at a higher risk," she said. "Not many students want to miss class because they are sick, because it puts a strain on their schoolwork."

Anderson added it's important for students to wash their hands, avoid people who are ill and to stay home when they are sick.

There are two options to get the flu vaccine – a shot or a mist, which has become an option of the last few years.

The difference between the two is that the shot is a dead form of the flu virus, whereas the mist is sprayed in the nostrils and is a weakened version of the flu virus.

Anderson said both vaccines have proven to be effective and there is really only one difference between the two.

"Both are good. The mist may seem a bit better, and there is no sore arm from a needle," she said. "People prefer it if they don't like needles."

The mist can't be given to people who are pregnant or have asthma.

Those who are allergic to eggs cannot receive either vaccine.

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