It’s official… The H1N1 flu shots are being sent out not only to Naperville but around the country as we speak (or write). We will cover some of the facts, myths and recommendations being put out about this flu so you’re armed with the information you need to make informed decisions for you and your family.

This is the latest from the American Red Cross…

American Red Cross Chief Nurse Advises Getting H1N1 and Seasonal Flu Vaccines

prnphotos077982-AMERICAN-RED-CROSS- With the first doses of the H1N1 (swine) flu vaccine being shipped and seasonal flu shots underway, people should be getting vaccinations when they can for these flu viruses, said Sharon Stanley, Chief Nurse of the American Red Cross.

“Dealing with the flu is a three-step process: Get vaccinated, stop the spread with basic hygiene and stay home if sick,” Stanley said.

Getting vaccinated against both the H1N1 flu and the seasonal flu is the most important step.

“Make sure you and your loved ones are vaccinated this flu season,” urges Stanley.

While vaccines are the most powerful public health tool for controlling influenza, Stanley said that people can help reduce their exposure by using good hand-washing hygiene, social distancing and covering their cough.

Finally, people who become ill with an influenza-like illness should stay home and check in with a health care provider if symptoms worsen or they are in a high-risk group for H1N1 complications.

“It is important for individuals to understand that there are two options available for vaccination against H1N1,” says Stanley. “The nasal mist, which is a weakened vaccine virus, and the injection, a killed vaccine virus, cannot cause the flu. Both are Food and Drug Administration approved in conjunction with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. These are very safe products that are matched for this year’s H1N1 virus.”

Individuals need to get both seasonal flu and H1N1 vaccines. The H1N1 vaccine is designed to be distributed to high risk groups first, but everyone who wants to be vaccinated will be able to do so through December. The seasonal flu vaccine is already widely available.

Shipments of the H1N1 vaccine are already underway and individuals should be patient as states distribute the vaccines as they are received, as crowds are expected, at least at first.

Pregnant women, the young (ages 6 months- 24 years), people younger than 64 who have conditions such as asthma or diabetes that increase the risk of complications from flu, health workers and caregivers of babies less than six months will be first in line.

Additional vaccine information is located on http://www.flu.gov/. The American Red Cross also has information available on H1N1 preparedness, including what people can do to stay healthy and keep their family healthy.

About the American Red Cross:

The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies nearly half of the nation’s blood; teaches lifesaving skills; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families.

The Red Cross is a charitable organization — not a government agency — and depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit www.redcross.org or join our blog at http://blog.redcross.org/.


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Editors Notes:

“Should I get one or both flu vaccines being offered this year?”

“Should I get my children or elderly parents vaccinated for the H1N1 flu or the seasonal flu or both?”

These are very important questions around very important decisions we are all being asked to make this year. And they are much more difficult for all of us than under normal circumstances.

Now we would like to offer a couple of videos the Red Cross has put out to help answer questions many of us have here in Naperville, IL about this H1N1 flu and whether to get the vaccines or not…


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Part 1 What’s the Real Deal with H1N1…

Here is Sharon Stanley, the American Red Cross Chief Nurse, as she answers common questions about the H1N1 flu virus.
Part 1 of the three video series answers the question “what’s the real deal?” with H1N1. Sharon addresses hype surrounding the H1N1, informs us on how it differs from the seasonal flu, and what behaviors you will notice if you become ill.

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Here is Part 2…

Once again, here is Sharon Stanley, the American Red Cross Chief Nurse, answering a few more common questions about the H1N1 flu virus.

Part 2 of the three video series deals with vaccination confusion and provides us with real answers. She offers 3-steps to help avoid the flu and emphasizes the importance of vaccination. She confronts issues such as the two vaccination options, the necessity of H1N1 and seasonal flu vaccines, the difference between vaccines and antivirals and the age-old myth that you can get the flu from the vaccine itself!


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