H1N1 Intranasal Vaccine is now available in a very limited supply. Per CDC guidelines, ONLY our patients from the following list are being vaccinated at this time. If more vaccine becomes available, then we will extend this to all children, and then extend it to those age 18-49 with a medical condition, like asthma or diabetes, that puts them at an increased risk for influenza complications. If you feel you are a candidate,please make an appointment to obtain the vaccine. We will not determine if you are a candidate over the phone.

It is now recommended that ALL children up to age 24 be vaccinated for H1N1 Influenza. If you or your child would like the vaccine, please schedule a nurse visit. This vaccine is Intranasal, a small squirt of fluid up the nose.

We Are Vaccinating Now:

• persons who live with or provide care for infants aged <6 months (e.g., parents, siblings, and daycare providers),
• health-care and emergency medical services personnel who have direct contact with patients or infectious material
• all children aged 2 years -4 years
• children and adolescents aged 5–18 years who have medical conditions that put them at higher risk for influenza-related complications, like asthma or diabetes

You MUST be between the ages of 2 and 49 to receive the intranasal vaccine that we currently have.

Children ages 2-5 who have asthma or wheezing conditions, should NOT receive the intranasal vaccine due to increased possibility of wheezing. They should receive the injected form of the vaccine. We do not have the injected form.  Pregnant women SHOULD get vaccinated with the injected form. They should NOT be vaccinated with the intranasal form. We do not have the injected form.

Patients older than 65 are not recommended to be vaccinated at this time.

You should NOT receive the vaccine if you have been on Relenza or Tamiflu antivirals in the past 2 weeks. You should NOT take Tamiflu or Relenza for 2 weeks after immunization for H1N1.

You should NOT have the vaccine if you are allergic to eggs, egg proteins, gentamicin, gelatin, or arginine.

Cost of the vaccine: We charge $25 to administer the vaccine. If you have insurance, this cost will be sent to your insurance company and no copay is required at this time. If you are cash pay/self pay, then the cost is due at the time of vaccination. Although we receive this vaccine free of charge from the government, there are multiple extra reporting requirements and costs for our office to be able to give it. The government, unfortunately, does not pay for this. The insurance companies realize the burden and most have agreed to cover the administration fee for physicians. As you know with other vaccines given in the office, we charge an amount for the actual vaccine, and then an amount for the administration of it to help cover the cost of the needles, syringes, paperwork, etc.

COMMON QUESTIONS

Is it safe? The vaccine is made with the same standards as other immunizations. Drs. Chilek, Jezierski, and McWilliams have already taken the vaccine and also given it to their families and children.

Why do you feel sick after getting a vaccination? The chemicals your body makes to fight off invaders actually make you feel bad- they increase your temperature, cause aches, and other symptoms. So, if your body is creating the immune response to a vaccine, you will likely have some of those symptoms.

What does a vaccine do? We are trying to trick your body into thinking it has the disease by giving it a tiny piece of the virus, or an inactivated form of the virus. So, your body creates an immune response and builds chemicals and antibodies to fight the illness it thinks it has. Each time your body sees a new virus or bacteria, it creates an antibody specifically for that. So, we want your body to have the antibodies BEFORE you actually get exposed to the real invader. That way, if you breathe in the influenza virus and it gets into your cells,  our body already has the defense to kill it before it has a chance to multiply and infect other cells and create a bad infection. It typically takes 3-5 days to create an immune response to a new invader.

Why do you feel sick after getting a vaccination? The chemicals your body makes to fight off invaders, called cytokines, actually make you feel bad- they increase your temperature, cause aches, and other symptoms. So, if your body is creating the immune response to a vaccine, you will likely have some of those symptoms.

Why are the young healthy people getting vaccinated for H1N1 instead of the old sick ones? The influenza virus has the capability of triggering the immune system and OVERstimulating it. So, it creates an excess of those chemicals and cytokines right away. Too many cytokines can cause problems- “too much of a good thing.” Since the influenza virus also has the special capability to get into the lungs rapidly, this excess response goes to the lungs and causes swelling and fluid buildup, making breathing difficult. Healthy people with strong immune systems have higher potential for this overreaction and tend to have pulmonary complications fairly rapidly.