ZocdocAnswersHow long do swine flu shots last?

Question

How long do swine flu shots last?

I and my two kids got the swine flu shot last year. This year, it seems like they're telling everyone to get it again. Do we really need to? Why would we need to get them twice?

Answer

This is the first year that the Center for Disease Control (CDC) in Atlanta is recommending that all people 6 months of age or older should receive the annual Influenza vaccination. Previously, it was only recommended for the elderly and other specific at-risk populations. The 2010-2011 Influenza vaccination is a vaccine that includes protection against this season's expected Influenza viruses as well as the 2009 H1N1 (swine) Influenza virus. By doing this, the CDC is ensuring that as many people as possible will be vaccinated against this year's seasonal flu viruses as well as the H1N1 flu virus. It is OK to receive a second dose of the H1N1 vaccine even if you received it last year. It is not possible (to my knowledge) to get this year's seasonal Influenza vaccine without the H1N1 (swine) Influenza vaccine component. There are certain contraindications (reasons to not get vaccinated) that you can read more about at the CDC's website. These include: allergy to eggs, being less than 6 months old, history of Guillain-Barre syndrome, etc. A detailed conversation with your children's pediatrician/family doctor is the best way to determine if this year's vaccination is recommended for them.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

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