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Flu mist versus flu shot: What's best for you?

By: Wendy Enneking Email
By: Wendy Enneking Email

H1N1 vaccination clinics are being held throughout the country. Two forms of the vaccine are available. One is an inhaled form and the other is an injectable form.

The inhaled form of the vaccine is known as the flu mist. It is made up of a live attenuated form of the H1N1 virus. The injection which is also called the flu shot, is made up of an inactivated or "killed" form of the H1N1 virus.

Dr. Katrina Hood of Pediatric & Adolescent Associates says that neither from of the vaccine will cause the flu.

"If you come down with flu-like symptoms, it's because you've encountered something else around the same time you were vaccinated," Hood says.

Hood adds that any symptoms you get following a vaccine are simply the result of your immune system kicking into gear.

Healthcare providers recommend the flu mist to anyone over the age of 2-years-old who is healthy with no underlying chronic health conditions.
The flu shot is for those at higher risk of getting H1N1. This includes pregnant women, infants under the age of 6-months-old, caretakers of infants under 6-months-old, and those with chronic health conditions. Those who are immunosuppressed should also get the injectable form of the vaccine.

As for safety of the H1N1 vaccine, Dr. Hood assures people that it is made exactly the same way as the seasonal flu vaccine. She says the process was just sped up in hopes of getting the vaccine out to the population before the H1N1 virus took a strong hold.


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