Local News

High-risk groups urged to wait for H1N1 injectable vaccine

Posted October 6, 2009 10:08 p.m. EDT
Updated October 6, 2009 11:58 p.m. EDT

— Nasal vaccines against the H1N1 virus are arriving at health departments across North Carolina. But the FluMist version is recommended only for healthy people ages 2 to 49. High-risk groups are being advised to wait for the shot form.

Pegeen Turner has a 10-year-old son with Type 1 diabetes. Due to J.J.’s illness, she is worried about him receiving the nasal form.

“Any kind of sickness, it really impacts his blood sugar. So we just have to watch him. We test him. Rather than five times a day, we test him 15 times a day,” she said.

The nasal vaccine uses a live but weakened virus to build up resistance to H1N1. The injectable vaccine, due to arrive in the state in the coming weeks, is made with a dead virus and is safer for high-risk people.

“Our doctors are recommending that both of my children get it (the vaccine), and we're not sure whether we are going to do it or not,” Pegeen Turner said.

The Turners are worried about both forms of the H1N1 vaccine because the flu strain is new.

“(But) when they rush things to market, that's when things are dangerous,” Pegeen Turner said of the H1N1 vaccines.

J.J. said he is not worried though.

“I take shots every day. I really don't think it is going to be a problem,” he said.

The Turners said they will probably wait and see how others respond to the nasal form before making a decision.

Individuals in the priority groups who wish to receive a H1N1 vaccine should contact their health care providers or their local health departments to find out about vaccine availability.

Health officials recommend getting vaccinated for both the seasonal flu and H1N1.

Those most at risk for getting the seasonal flu are people 65 and older, people of any age with chronic medical conditions (such as asthma, diabetes, or heart disease), pregnant women and children under 18.