Too late for swine flu vaccine?

October 12, 2009 9:15:58 PM PDT
With doctor's offices not getting the swine flu vaccine for a couple of weeks and then it taking an additional two weeks for the body to build-up immunity, some wonder if that's too late to protect themselves from H1N1 virus?Doctors say it's better late than never.

"Oh no, it's not at all too late," Department of Health and Human Services Epidemiologist Dr. Zack Moore said. "We have every reason to believe that this will go on for quite some time and people have plenty of time to get protection from the vaccine."

The Centers for Disease Control says the swine flu is spiking across the country and with the regular flu season around the corner there are good reasons to get vaccinated.

"We expect to see a lot more severe illness and a lot more death as well," Moore said. "That's not because this disease is more severe. It's just because a lot more people are going to be infected with it than would be infected during a normal flu season."

It's a lesson Laura Whayne's family learned the hard way.

She said she thought her son Hayden was sick from a surgical procedure he had done, but instead he tested positive for H1N1 and it just got worse from there.

"Well I was just in bed, tired and asleep, but I didn't lose my appetite," Hayden Whayne said.

"My husband got sick the night before and developed the symptoms and two hours after the surgeon called to tell me that he had H1N1, (and then) I came down with the symptoms," Laura Whayne said.

It's an experience thousands of families in the Triangle are trying to avoid. But there have also been questions about the safety of the vaccine.

State health officials say they are made exactly the same way as the seasonal flu vaccine and they are safe.

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