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Only One Flu Vaccine Needed This Year

October 25, 2010

William Walker, MD
Contra Costa Health Services

More flu information.

There’s some good news following last year’s unusual flu season:
It is much simpler to protect yourself from the flu this year.

Hello, I am Dr. William Walker, the county health officer and director of Contra Costa Health Services. I’d like to talk to you about the flu and who should get vaccinated.

A lot people are asking if the H1N1 virus will continue to spread this year. The simple answer is we expect H1N1 flu to be in our community. Thankfully, this year’s seasonal flu vaccine protects you from three flu viruses, including H1N1.

This means most people will only need one flu vaccine—and I strongly urge everyone older than 6 months to get it. As usual, flu vaccine available in two forms: a shot and a nasal spray.

The nasal spray is a good alternative for those who don’t like needles, but it’s not available for everyone. Only healthy people between 2 and 49 years and not pregnant can get the nasal spray.

Some children younger than 9 years will need two doses this year. Contact your child’s health care provider if you are not sure whether he or she needs two doses of flu vaccine this year.

As always, we need everyone in the community—even healthy people—to get vaccinated. If a large number of people are vaccinated, those babies at greatest risk for complications and those too young to get vaccinated will be better protected.

Check with your health care provider to find out when the flu vaccine will be available for you. Flu vaccine will also be available at local pharmacies, grocery stores and community clinics. Contra Costa Health Services will offer flu vaccine starting in mid-October, you can visit our website at for details.

Thanks for listening.

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