Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Now Is the Best Time to Get an H1N1 Vaccine

The Fauquier Times-Democrat is doing a story this week on the H1N1 flu. Should we still be concerned about it?

According to Dr. Tam Ly, Fauquier Health infectious diseases specialist, complacency is not our friend. She pointed out that historically, pandemic flus come back around with a surge in cases during January and February. Both Dr. Ly and Dr. Joseph Servideo, director of the Fauquier Hospital Emergency Department, agree that January was very quiet for flu cases.

But Dr. Ly emphasized that it's still important to get vaccinated for both the seasonal flu and the H1N1 flu. She said, "If we do have a surge, and you wait until you start to feel sick, or until those around you begin to feel sick, it's going to be too late. The H1N1 vaccination takes several weeks to reach full potency."
She added, "Getting vaccinated is an easy thing you can do to protect yourself from a serious, even potentially fatal disease."

Dr. Ly said that many of her patients have been questioning the safety of the H1N1 vaccine; she assures them that if they have had no trouble with the seasonal flu vaccine, they should be fine with the H1N1 vaccine. "It is a very safe vaccine," she said. "And it's very effective, because it's an exact match for the H1N1 strain."

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