Seasonal flu shot vs. H1N1 flu shot - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Seasonal flu shot vs. H1N1 flu shot

By Taylor Barnhill  - bio | email | Twitter

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - To get a flu shot, or not to get a flu shot... That seems to be the question on many people's minds these days. And if you choose to get the shot, will seasonal or H1N1 be more beneficial?

News Leader Nine tried to find the answers to a few of those questions about the new vaccine.

Flu season is right around the corner, and with the added threat of H1N1, the West Central Georgia Health District has to plan for families wanting both flu shots.

Pam Fair with the Columbus Health Department told News Leader Nine, "We are working to anticipate large volumes of individuals coming in for seasonal and the novel H1N1 vaccine when it becomes available."

Director of Nursing, Shelia Mayfield added, "The recommendation is the seasonal flu vaccine is not going to cover you for the H1N1 vaccine. You do need both vaccines."

One concern about the H1N1 vaccine, is that since it was rushed to be released, there may be unknown side effects of the shot.

"It's still in trial as you know, but right now I cannot pin point for you if there's going to be side effects from this vaccine. It's the individual response to the vaccine itself," Mayfield said.

District program manager Ed Saidla added, "Had the virus been identified before April, it would have been included in the seasonal vaccine but it wasn't and so that's why it's basically another dose of seasonal flu vaccine. This is just what happens to be specific to the novel 2009 H1N1 virus."

With that influx of people trying to get both flu shots, Fair says the Health Department is preparing for the overflow, "We have already begun to hire part-time nurses here at the Health Department. We've recruited some retired nurses and we're glad to have them back. We also have volunteers and the school of nursing at Columbus State University."        

Seasonal flu shots are already being offered at health departments all over the area and from several private facilities as well. The H1N1 vaccine is scheduled to arrive in mid-October.

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