Health officials push swine, seasonal flu vaccines
By Rachel Lippmann and Anna Vitale
St. Louis – Research at St. Louis University and seven other locations has found that most adults will need just one dose of a vaccine against the H1N1 swine flu.
"From a public health standpoint, we are delighted," said Margaret Donnelly, the director of the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services. "The dosages of vaccine will be coming in over a period of time, so it means that we can get to people much more quickly. In addition, we knew that there would be challenges to getting people to be able to come back for that second shot."
The vaccine for seasonal flu is already available, Donnelly said, and the swine flu vaccine should be on the market in mid October. Missouri residents should get both, she said - the seasonal vaccine will not protect against swine flu, which is a public health threat for many reasons.
"It survived the summer heat and caused outbreaks at summer camps. It's highly contagious and is already causing outbreaks at schools and universities throughout Missouri. It's spread throughout the world in record time, and it has the potential to mutate and cause much more serious illness."
Two weeks ago, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported sporadic flu activity in Missouri.